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CT Scan Barium Instructions – Independent Physicians Medical Center

You may refrigerate the two (2) bottles of Barium enclosed with these instructions. Do not freeze or heat them. When you arrive at the CT Scan Department, you may be given one (1) additional cup of barium to drink.

If you have Diabetes and are taking medication other than insulin please consult the list below for medications you should not take the day of the test and 48 hours after the test. If you are unsure about whether the medication can be taken do not take it on the day of the test, but do bring it with you to show the technologist performing the test.

  • If you need to take medication other than those listed below, please take it as usual.
  • Any medications containing Actoplus Met, Avandamet, Fortamet, Glucophage, Glucovance, Glumetza, Janumet, Jentadueto, Kombiglyze, Linagliptin, Metformin, Metaglip, Metformin Hydrochloride, Pioglitazone, Prandimet, Repaglinide, Riomet, Saxagliptin, Sitagliptin.
CT Scan Department Note. The day of your appointment, please bring with you any Pre-Certification or Referral required by your insurance, along with your insurance card, your photo ID, and your prescription.

Morning Appointments

If your appointment is between 7 am and 12:30 pm:

  • The day before your test, please drink at least 6-8 glasses of water and avoid caffeine.
  • The night before your test, please shake well and drink one (1) bottle of barium at 8 pm.
  • In the morning, take medications with water as usual, but do not eat or drink anything except water 4 hours prior to your appointment.
  • Shake well and drink the second bottle of barium one (1) hour before your appointment.

Afternoon Appointments

If your appointment is between 1 pm and 5:30 pm:

  • The day before and the day of your test, please drink at least 6-8 glasses of water and avoid caffeine.
  • The morning of your appointment, please shake well and drink one (1) bottle of barium at approximately 7 am.
  • Take medications with water as usual, but do not eat or drink anything except water 4 hours prior to your appointment.
  • Shake well and drink the second bottle of barium one (1) hour before your appointment.

Evening Appointments

If your appointment is between 6 pm and 7:30 pm:

  • The day before and the day of your test, please drink at least 6-8 glasses of water and avoid caffeine.
  • The morning of your appointment, please shake well and drink one (1) bottle of barium at approximately 10 am.
  • Take medications with water as usual, but do not eat or drink anything except water 4 hours prior to your appointment.
  • Shake well and drink the second bottle of barium one (1) hour before your appointment.

If you are unsure about any part of this please contact your referring doctor or your primary care physician.

Preparing for a CT Scan

Instructions for taking Oral Contrast (Barium Sulfate)

  1. Do not eat or drink anything three hours prior to your appointment time.
  2. Shake the contrast well before drinking. It does not need to be refrigerated, but tastes better when cold.
  3. Begin drinking the contrast one and a half hours before your scheduled exam time. Drink one-third of a bottle every fifteen minutes. Save the last third and bring it with you to your appointment.

If you are taking the drug Glucophage (or something similar) for diabetes, please let the technologist know before you are scanned. If you are allergic to iodine or have had a reaction to CT dye in the past, please call as soon as possible to receive special instructions and medications.

Enteroclysis Drinking Instructions (Volumon Contrast )

  1. Do not eat or drink three hours prior to your appointment time.
  2. Shake the contrast well before drinking. It does not need to be refrigerated, but tastes better when cold.
  3. Begin drinking the contrast one hour prior to your scheduled exam time. Drink first bottle in 20 min, drink second bottle in 20 min, and half of the third bottle in 20 min. Save the last half of the third bottle for visit to CT.

Iodine Allergies

If you have iodine allergies, you must do the following (doctor prescribed):

  • Take the 13-hour premedication preparation.


  • For enteroclysis do not eat or drink 6 hours prior to your exam.

Biopsy/Drain Placements

  • For biopsy or drain placement, do not eat or drink after midnight.

IV Sedation

If sedated by IV, you must do the following:

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight or eight hours previous.
  • Bring someone to drive you home.

General Anesthesia

If the procedure will be performed while you are under general anesthesia (doctor prescribed), you must do the following:

  • Arrive one and a half hours early to check into admitting.
  • Do not eat or drink anything eight hours previous.

Prepare For Abdominal CT Scan

If your doctor has ordered an abdominal CT scan, you probably have questions about the procedure and how you should prepare for it. Abdominal CT scans use X-ray technology to take pictures of your abdomen, giving your doctor more information so he or she can make a diagnosis.

What does an Abdominal CT Scan Show?

Abdominal CT scans are used to help diagnose symptoms of infections, cysts, abscesses, tumors, diverticulitis, appendicitis, inflammatory bowel disease, internal bleeding, enlarged lymph nodes and more.

The Day of Your Abdominal CT Scan

Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for your abdominal CT scan, and it is important to follow those instructions.Following are some common, general instructions for abdominal CT scan patients:

  1. Fast as directed by your doctor. For most abdominal CT scans, patients are instructed not to eat or drink anything besides water for two to four hours before the imaging test.
  2. Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding medications. Your doctor may ask you to hold off on taking certain medications before your test, in order to get the most accurate results during the scan.
  3. Wear loose, comfortable clothing. When you go to your appointment, choose casual, comfortable clothing. During the test, you will be lying down on a table, so you may be asked to change into a hospital gown for the procedure.
  4. Remove jewelry. You will be asked to remove any jewelry, so a best practice is to leave your jewelry and other unnecessary items at home on the day of the CT scan.
  5. Oral contrast or IV contrast. For some CT scans, you will be asked to drink a special liquid called an “oral contrast” between 60-90 minutes before your test. This liquid includes barium and will help your doctor get a better picture of your abdomen. You may instead be hooked up to an IV with a contrast dye.
  6. Talk to your doctor about your health conditions. It is important that your doctor know about any health conditions that could make an abdominal CT scan problematic, so be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant, diabetic or have previously had an allergic reaction to drinking oral contrast (barium) or other dyes.

During Your Abdominal CT Scan

During the procedure itself, you will be asked to lie down on a table in a specific position. Because it is important that you stay still and in the same position long enough for the technician to get a good image, pillows or straps may be used to help keep you in position.

The table will then be moved into the CT machine, which has a large donut-shaped opening. The technician will review the images and will probably want to take several images to be sure they are clear enough and provide your doctor with the information they need.

AHI Makes Abdominal CT Scans Easy and Affordable

You have choices when it comes to where to have your abdominal CT scan. AHI offers the same scans using the same high-quality equipment as hospitals and clinics at a cost that is usually significantly cheaper than those other facilities.

By following the steps above, you will be well-prepared for your abdominal CT scan. To learn more about the diagnostic imaging services we provide in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and Texas, contact American Health Imaging today at (855) MRI-CHOICE.

Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) Scan of the Abdomen

What is a CT scan of the abdomen?

Computed tomography (CT scan or CAT scan) is a noninvasive diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images (often called slices) of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, organs, and blood vessels. CT scans are more detailed than standard X-rays.

In standard X-rays, a beam of energy is aimed at the body part being studied. A plate behind the body part captures the variations of the energy beam after it passes through skin, bone, muscle, and other tissue. While much information can be obtained from a standard X-ray, a lot of detail about internal organs and other structures is not available.

In computed tomography, the X-ray beam moves in a circle around the body. This allows many different views of the same organ or structure. The X-ray information is sent to a computer that interprets the X-ray data and displays it in a two-dimensional (2D) form on a monitor.

CT scans may be done with or without “contrast.” Contrast refers to a substance taken by mouth or injected into an intravenous (IV) line that causes the particular organ or tissue under study to be seen more clearly. Contrast examinations may require you to fast for a certain period of time before the procedure. Your doctor will notify you of this prior to the procedure.

CT scans of the abdomen can provide more detailed information about abdominal organs and structures than standard X-rays of the abdomen, thus providing more information related to injuries and/or diseases of the abdominal organs.

CT scans of the abdomen may also be used to visualize placement of needles during biopsies of abdominal organs or tumors or during aspiration (withdrawal) of fluid from the abdomen. CT scans of the abdomen are useful in monitoring tumors and other conditions of the abdomen before and after treatment.

Other related procedures that may be used to diagnose abdominal problems include abdominal X-rays, pancreas scan, liver scan, gallbladder scan, kidney scan, endoscopy procedures such as colonoscopy, abdominal ultrasound, and abdominal angiogram.

What are the reasons for a CT scan of the abdomen?

The abdomen contains organs of the gastrointestinal, urinary, endocrine, and reproductive systems. A CT scan of the abdomen may be performed to assess the abdomen and its organs for tumors and other lesions, injuries, intra-abdominal bleeding, infections, unexplained abdominal pain, obstructions, or other conditions, particularly when another type of examination, such as X-rays or physical examination, is not conclusive.

A CT scan of the abdomen may also be used to evaluate the effects of treatment on abdominal tumors. Another use of abdominal CT is to provide guidance for biopsies and/or aspiration of tissue from the abdomen.

There may be other reasons for your doctor to recommend a CT scan of the abdomen.

What are the risks of a CT scan?

You may want to ask your doctor about the amount of radiation used during the CT procedure and the risks related to your particular situation. It is a good idea to keep a record of your past history of radiation exposure, such as previous CT scans and other types of X-rays, so that you can inform your doctor. Risks associated with radiation exposure may be related to the cumulative number of X-ray examinations and/or treatments over a long period of time.

If you are pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, you should notify your health care provider. Radiation exposure during pregnancy may lead to birth defects.

If contrast media is used, there is a risk for allergic reaction to the media. Patients who are allergic to or sensitive to medications should notify their doctor. You will need to let your doctor know if you have ever had a reaction to contrast media, or kidney problems. A reported seafood allergy is not considered to be a contraindication for iodinated contrast. If you take metformin/Glucophage, or a related medication, you may be asked to stop taking the medication for at least 48 hours after the contrast is administered, as it may cause a condition called metabolic acidosis, or an unsafe change in your blood pH.

Patients with kidney failure or other kidney problems should notify their doctor. In some cases, the contrast media can cause kidney failure, especially if the person is dehydrated or already has underlying kidney disease.

There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your doctor prior to the procedure.

Certain factors or conditions may interfere with the accuracy of a CT scan of the abdomen. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Metallic objects within the abdomen, such as surgical clips

  • Barium in the intestines from a recent barium study

  • Stool and/or gas in the bowel

  • Total hip replacement

How do I prepare for a CT scan?

If you are having a computed tomography angiography (CTA) or virtual colonoscopy with Johns Hopkins radiology, you will be given specific instructions when you make your appointment.

PRECAUTIONS: If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, please check with your doctor before scheduling the exam. Other options will be discussed with you and your doctor.

CLOTHING: You may be asked to change into a patient gown. If so, a gown will be provided for you. A locker will be provided to secure personal belongings. Please remove all piercings and leave all jewelry and valuables at home.

CONTRAST MEDIA: CT scans are most frequently done with and without a contrast media. The contrast media improves the radiologist’s ability to view the images of the inside of the body.

  • Some patients should not have an iodine-based contrast media. If you have problems with your kidney function, please inform the access center representative when you schedule the appointment. You may be able to have the scan performed without contrast media or have an alternative imaging exam.

  • The most common type of CT scan with contrast is the double contrast study that will require you to drink a contrast media before your exam begins in addition to the IV contrast. The more contrast you are able to drink, the better the images are for the radiologist to visualize your digestive tract.

ALLERGY: Please inform the access center representative when you schedule your CT scan if you have had an allergic reaction to any contrast media. IV contrast will not be administered if you have had a severe or anaphylactic reaction to any contrast media in the past. If you had mild to moderate reactions in the past, you will likely need to take medication prior to the CT scan. These plans will be discussed with you in detail when you schedule your exam. Any known reactions to a contrast media should be discussed with your personal physician.

EAT/DRINK: If your doctor ordered a CT scan without contrast, you can eat, drink and take your prescribed medications prior to your exam. If your doctor ordered a CT scan with contrast, do not eat anything three hours prior to your CT scan. You are encouraged to drink clear liquids. You may also take your prescribed medications prior to your exam.

DIABETICS: Diabetics should eat a light breakfast or lunch three hours prior to the scan time. Depending on your oral medication for diabetes, you may be asked to discontinue use of the medication for 48 hours after the CT scan. If you have a CT scan with Johns Hopkins radiology, detailed instructions will be given following your examination.

MEDICATION: All patients can take their prescribed medications as usual.

Based on your medical condition, your doctor may request other specific preparation.

What happens during a CT scan?

CT scans may be performed on an outpatient basis or as part of your stay in a hospital. Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your physician’s practices.

Generally, a CT scan follows this process:

  1. You may be asked to change into a patient gown. If so, a gown will be provided for you. A locked will be provided to secure all personal belongings. Please remove all piercings and leave all jewelry and valuables at home.

  2. If you are to have a procedure done with contrast, an intravenous (IV) line will be started in the hand or arm for injection of the contrast media. For oral contrast, you will be given a liquid contrast preparation to swallow. In some situations, the contrast may be given rectally.

  3. You will lie on a scan table that slides into a large, circular opening of the scanning machine. Pillows and straps may be used to prevent movement during the procedure.

  4. The technologist will be in another room where the scanner controls are located. However, you will be in constant sight of the technologist through a window. Speakers inside the scanner will enable the technologist to communicate with and hear you. You may have a call button so that you can let the technologist know if you have any problems during the procedure. The technologist will be watching you at all times and will be in constant communication.

  5. As the scanner begins to rotate around you, X-rays will pass through the body for short amounts of time. You will hear clicking sounds, which are normal.

  6. The X-rays absorbed by the body’s tissues will be detected by the scanner and transmitted to the computer. The computer will transform the information into an image to be interpreted by the radiologist.

  7. It will be important that you remain very still during the procedure. You may be asked to hold your breath at various times during the procedure.

  8. If contrast media is used for your procedure, you may feel some effects when the dye is injected into the IV line. These effects include a flushing sensation, a salty or metallic taste in the mouth, a brief headache, or nausea and/or vomiting. These effects usually last for a few moments.

  9. You should notify the technologist if you feel any breathing difficulties, sweating, numbness or heart palpitations.

  10. When the procedure has been completed, you will be removed from the scanner.

  11. If an IV line was inserted for contrast administration, the line will be removed.

While the CT procedure itself causes no pain, having to lie still for the length of the procedure might cause some discomfort or pain, particularly in the case of a recent injury or invasive procedure such as surgery. The technologist will use all possible comfort measures and complete the procedure as quickly as possible to minimize any discomfort or pain.

What happens after a CT scan?

If contrast dye was used during your procedure, you may be monitored for a period of time for any side effects or reactions to the contrast dye, such as itching, swelling, rash, or difficulty breathing.

If you notice any pain, redness, and/or swelling at the IV site after you return home following your procedure, you should notify your doctor as this could indicate an infection or other type of reaction.

Otherwise, there is no special type of care required after a CT scan of the abdomen. You may resume your usual diet and activities unless your doctor advises you differently. Your doctor may give you additional or alternate instructions after the procedure, depending on your particular situation.

What You’ll Need To Know About Contrast Agents — Bay Imaging Consultants

After being recommended a diagnostic imaging scan, you may start to research more about these scans. From MRI’s to CT scan, these procedures are often simpler and a lot less scary than they may initially seem. When doing your research about a particular scan, you may discover that a certain scan uses contrast agents.

So, what are contrast agents?

Contrast materials are agents used to improve pictures taken in the body with X-Ray machines, CAT Scans, and MRI’s. They come in various forms, however, the most common are liquids, dyes, or pills which are given to the patient before the test. In most cases, patients simply drink the substance. However, it can be administered through an enema rectally or given intravenously through needle or IV. These agents change the way the body interacts with the imaging equipment and enhance the patient’s tissue and organ visibility. Here’s everything you need to know about contrast agents during your medical imaging scan:

An iodine substance will be injected into the veins, disks, or the fluid spaces in the spine before undergoing the scan. Barium sulfate is taken by mouth and the patient drinks it before the test. Sometimes it is administered rectally by enema, a procedure that injects liquid into the rectum. Barium sulfate is available in powder, liquid, paste, and tablets.

Barium sulfate is swallowed and used to enhance images of the gastrointestinal tract. This area includes the pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines. If your radiologist requires images of your lower gastrointestinal tract, then barium sulfate will be administered through an enema.

Iodine is injected into the veins to enhance images for X-rays and CT scans. It is used to see internal organs, the gastrointestinal tract, veins, arteries, brain, breasts, skin and muscles. Each agent used enhances the doctor’s ability to see the organs needed to make a diagnosis.

Gladalium is a dye or contrast agent used with MRI scans. It is injected into the veins and significantly improves the quality of images taken. It’s used in about 1 out of 3 MRI’s and improves the accuracy of the diagnosis.

This dye is used to take a closer look at inflammation, blood vessels, and organs. This injection takes 30 second or more to work and you may experience a cold sensation for a few minutes in the site where the dye is injected. However, some patients experience a mild itching in the eyes and skin.

You will be asked to abstain from eating for several hours before the test. Unfortunately, if you’re required to administer the contrast orally, you may not be too pleased with the taste. When given by enema it produces a sense of fullness that passes quickly. Tip to the wise, it’s a good idea to drink plenty of water after the test. Barium sulfate is eliminated through bowel movement causing white feces for a short time after drinking it.

Some of the other symptoms that patients may experience after taking barium sulfate are stomach cramps, diarrhea, constipation, itching, redness, hives and difficulty breathing. Contact your doctor should you experience any severe allergic reactions.

When iodine is injected into your veins you’ll most likely experience a warm sensation and sometimes a metallic taste in your mouth. The needle may cause some discomfort, however, it’s not a painful process. After your scan, be sure to drink plenty of water in order to flush out your system. Mild side effects might be a headache, nausea, itching, wheezing, and rashes. Contact your doctor if you experience serious side effects.

We understand that imaging scans can be intimidating, but we hope that this blog will give you a better idea on how contrast agents and imaging scans are used in tandem. Are you in need of a CT scan or MRI? Book an appointment with one of the best radiology practices in the Bay area today!

Current Trends with Oral Contrast in Diagnostic CT

Every hospital has its own set of protocols to address the needs of their patient population. When it comes to diagnostic CT, drinking protocols for oral contrast can vary from facility to facility.

While oral contrast plays a critical role in obtaining a diagnostically acceptable exam, patient compliance remains a hurdle for every department.

To understand what’s working and what’s not, a recent survey* of CT departments in hospitals across the country revealed which oral contrasts are most commonly used, how patients are given contrast, and if protocols were recently changed and why.  

Respondents were given five choices of oral contrasts: two barium sulfate suspensions (Readi-Cat® and Silq®), ionic iodinated contrasts (Gastrografin® and Gastroview®), nonionic iodinated contrasts (Omnipaque®), and “other.” Many facilities indicated the use of two or more contrasts. 

The top oral contrast agents preferred by CT departments: 

  1. Readi-Cat – More than 35% of respondents said this was their primary oral contrast.

Pros: Barium has a high attenuation, is not readily absorbed by the bowel, and allows for better opacification of the bowel

Cons: Patients describe it as tasting chalky. The taste and viscous texture make it difficult for some to tolerate. Furthermore, the non-absorbable property that makes it popular also makes it dangerous for patients who may have a perforated bowel, or whose bowel becomes perforated during surgery.

  1. Gastrografin/Gastroview – Roughly 31% of survey respondents said that these ionic iodinated oral contrasts were their primary contrast agent.

Pros: These contrast agents have a quick transit time, image consistently and are safe for patients with a bowel perforation, as well as for patients who are allergic to barium.

Cons: Due to the bitter flavor of these ionic iodinated contrasts, most facilities end up mixing them with a flavoring agent to make the contrast more palatable so that patients are better able to drink the required amount. 

  1. Omnipaque – 24% of the responding facilities indicated use of this nonionic iodinated contrast for their patients.

Pros: Studies have found that patients find this to be more palatable than the previously mentioned contrasts

Cons: Many facilities surveyed still mix this contrast with a flavoring agent because it is easier for the patient to consume large amounts of liquid if it is a beverage they like.

Overcoming the Hurdles of Taste and Texture

Regardless of the contrast agent, taste or viscosity are always mentioned as a potential barrier to acceptance. 

When it comes to barium products, flavor is often not the issue.  It is the thick chalky consistency that poses a challenge for patients, especially if they are not feeling well to begin with.Unfortunately, due to the nature of the barium sulfate suspension, nothing can be mixed with this oral contrast. Some facilities use a “water chaser” after the patient consumes the prescribed amount.  

More options exist for water soluble contrasts.

For those using either Gastrografin or Gastroview, 43% of facilities stated that they served in “water-alone,” i.e. no added flavoring. Another 23% replied that they used powdered drink mixes such as Crystal Lite® or Kool-Aid®.

31% of these facilities said they use Breeza® flavored beverage for use with oral iodinated contrast as their preferred method of contrast preparation. Breeza (Beekley Medical) is a flavored beverage that was created by a radiologist specifically to mask the bitterness of oral iodinated contrast.

Among those that use Omnipaque, 42% use “water-alone,” however, it is interesting to note that even with a “neutral taste,” another 40% of these facilities will flavor Omnipaque with powdered drink mixes or Breeza.

Improving the patient experience to drive compliance 

Sarah Mager, the CT Supervisor at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, CT, has had broad experience with several different oral contrast agents throughout her career. 

She had been using a barium sulfate suspension for her patients but expressed concern about some of her patients’ experience, “Our cancer patients struggled the most with the side effects, diarrhea being the worst. It really breaks your heart because they would go to the bathroom, have diarrhea, and get embarrassed. Then they’d be afraid to come back to our facility because of the stuff we made them drink.”

So she recently changed her oral contrast to a water-soluble solution for her patients flavored with a powdered drink mix which she found to be a bit problematic, “We would mix the contrast with Crystal Lite®, but when you have a lot of patients it gets tedious and it wasn’t always the cleanest solution. It also wasn’t very effective.”

In April of 2017, Sarah began flavoring her water-soluble contrast with Breeza instead of Crystal Lite. 

“Our patients are loving it. I hear a lot of ‘thank you’s’ and ‘oh my God, this is so good!’ Things you never hear from people drinking contrast but because of Breeza they’re able to drink it all. That just makes my day because I’m all about making the patients as comfortable as possible and giving them the best experience.”

If taste is a hurdle to patient compliance in your department, why not give Breeza a try? Contact your Breeza Business Development Manager at 1-800-233-5539 or [email protected] and ask about a trial evaluation for your facility.   


*Survey conducted by Prestige Lane Market Research, Nov 2017 


Related Articles 

Patient Satisfaction and Oral Contrast in CAT-Scan

Diagnosing Abdominal Disease: Two Exams, One Goal

To Drink or Not to Drink: An Honest Conversation about Oral Contrast



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90,000 Barium CT Instructions – Independent Physicians Medical Center

You may place the two (2) barium bottles included with this manual in the refrigerator compartment. Do not freeze or heat them. When you arrive at the CT scan area, you may be given one (1) extra barium to drink.

If you have diabetes and are taking any medications other than insulin, please check the list of medications below that should not be taken on the day of the test and in the 48 hours following the test.If you are not sure if your medication is okay, do not take it on the day of the test, but bring it with you to show the technologist doing the test.

  • If you need to take a drug that is not on the list below, please take it as usual.
  • Any formulation containing Actoplus Met, Avandamet, Fortamet, Glucophage, Glucovance, Glumetza, Janumet, Jentadueto, Kombiglyze, Linagliptin, Metformin, Metaglip, Metformin Hydrochlortide, Pioglitazone, Prandimet, Repaglinide, Saxlitazone, Prandimet, Repaglinide.

Reminder from CT scan department. On the day of your appointment, please bring with you any Pre-Certification or Referral required for your insurance, along with your insurance, photo ID and prescription.

Reception in the morning

If your appointment is from 7 am to 12:30 pm:

  • Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water the day before the test and avoid caffeine.
  • Shake well before testing and drink one (1) bottle of barium at 8pm.
  • Shake well and drink the second bottle of barium one (1) hour before your appointment.

Noon Reception

If your appointment is from 1 pm to 5:30 pm:

  • The day before the test and on the day of the test, drink at least 6-8 glasses of water and avoid caffeine.
  • Shake well on the morning of intake and drink one (1) bottle of barium at approximately 7:00 AM.
  • Shake well and drink the second bottle of barium one (1) hour before your appointment.

Evening reception

If your appointment is between 6 pm and 7:30 pm:

  • The day before the test and on the day of the test, drink at least 6-8 glasses of water and avoid caffeine.
  • Shake well and drink one (1) bottle of barium at approximately 10 am on the morning of intake.
  • Shake well and drink the second bottle of barium one (1) hour before your appointment.

If you have any further questions, please consult your referring or treating physician.

Computed tomography

What is CT or computed tomography

Computed tomography (CT) or multislice computed tomography
is a modern diagnostic method, which consists in layer-by-layer
examination of the human body using X-rays to obtain a detailed
images of internal organs and structures.

CT imaging is based on different organ and tissue densities,
through which the x-rays pass. During the study, X-ray
the tube with a narrow X-ray beam rotates around the patient.
Simultaneously, many sensors record the slightest density changes.
The information from the sensors is processed by a powerful computer, after which
enters the monitor in the form of successive longitudinal and cross sections
(“Tomography” literally means “slice image”).The thinner the cut, the
more precisely diagnostics.

State-of-the-art equipment has been installed at the University Clinical Hospital No. 2
– a high-class computed tomograph that allows you to obtain high-quality images
quality with minimal radiation exposure.

Today, CT is one of the main diagnostic methods and is widely
it is used both for making a diagnosis and for clarifying it. One of the main
advantages of computed tomography is the speed of the study
and the ability to scan multiple organs simultaneously.Modern
tomographs can significantly reduce the duration of the study
and reduce patient exposure to a minimum, while obtaining hundreds of slices up to
0.5 mm. Thanks to high-precision three-dimensional projections that enable
explore the position, shape, size and structure of various organs and structures
the body, the results obtained with CT examination are the key to success when staging
accurate diagnosis, selection of the most effective treatment and planning of surgery
if necessary.

A significant plus of this method is the ability to examine patients
with pacemakers, artificial heart valves, metal
clips in the body, etc., that is, those for whom MRI is contraindicated.

Computed tomography is used to examine almost all parts of the body
and organs: chest, abdomen, pelvis, extremities, liver, pancreas
glands, intestines, kidneys and adrenal glands, bladder, lungs, heart, and
blood vessels, bones and spine.

The range of diseases for which this study is necessary is extremely large.
In each case, the need and feasibility of this study
assessed by your treating physician.

What is the Difference Between CT and MRI

This is the most frequently asked question to a radiologist. CT and MRI are diagnostic methods. They have similarities and differences. The similarity lies in the external similarity of the design of the devices themselves – tomographs. In their center is a tunnel into which a table enters.

The main difference is a completely different principle of obtaining images: CT uses X-rays, MRI uses a magnetic field.
Which of the methods is right for you is determined by your doctor, taking into account the specifics
diseases and objectives of the study.

Indications for CT of the abdomen

  • Tumor research, grade assessment
    their germination into tissues and organs
  • detection of metastases
  • liver damage or enlargement
  • formations of the liver, spleen,
  • preparation for surgery
    on the abdominal organs
  • control of ongoing treatment
  • abdominal trauma
  • acute conditions (for example, acute
  • jaundice, sharp weight loss

Indications for chest CT

  • inflammatory diseases of the lungs and mediastinum
  • oncological diseases of the chest organs
  • determination of the stage of oncological diseases of other organs (metastases)
  • chest injuries
  • congenital pathology score

Contraindications for CT

No contrast:


  • iodine allergy
  • renal failure
  • severe diabetes mellitus
  • pregnancy
  • thyroid gland diseases

Preparation for CT examination


Please prepare in advance and bring with you any extracts, protocols or
records (disks) of previous studies.The more information the doctor has
before the study, the clearer the task set before it. In addition, the previous
the results will allow assessing the dynamics of the disease.

Before the procedure, be sure to notify your doctor if you have:

  • Pregnancy
  • Allergic to medicines, including iodine in contrast agent
  • Cardiovascular disease (eg, heart failure)
  • Diabetes mellitus or you are taking metformin (Glucophage).You may need
    refrain from taking this drug the day before and for the day after the procedure
  • Kidney disease
  • Bronchial asthma
  • Pacemaker or insulin pump installed
  • Multiple myeloma.
  • There was an X-ray examination within 4 previous days using
    contrast medium barium (irrigoscopy) or you have used medications,
    containing bismuth. Barium and bismuth, appearing on X-ray film, reduce
    image quality.
  • There is a fear of confined spaces (claustrophobia). Since during the procedure
    you will have to lie still inside the scanner, you may need sedatives
    (sedative) drugs. In this case, you should ask someone to take you home.
    after procedure

The Department of Radiation Diagnostics of the University Clinical Hospital No. 2 operates
within the framework of a multifunctional clinic, therefore, if you suspect any possible
complications the decision to conduct a study, its type and methods of preparation is made
together with specialist doctors (nephrologist, endocrinologist, etc.).

Preparation for CT examination with intravenous contrast

  • pre-take a blood test to determine the level of creatinine in the blood
    (bring results with you)
  • specify the presence of contraindications for the administration of a contrast agent
  • in the presence of allergic reactions or a moderate decrease in filtration
    ability of the kidneys, it is necessary to carry out drug preparation for the study

Abdominal CT preparation

If you have been assigned a computed tomography of the abdominal organs, in the evening
refrain from eating solid foods on the eve of the study.Before the procedure, you
may be offered to drink a contrast agent, and in some cases – to take a light
a laxative or a barium enema.

CT and MSCT of the abdominal organs are performed on an empty stomach or not earlier than 3-4 hours later
after the last meal. It is allowed to take medications (drink a small amount
water). Immediately before the study in the department, you may be offered
drink about 500-600 ml of water.

MSCT examination is performed after preliminary contrasting of the intestines
diluted contrast agent.The gastrointestinal tract is filled either on the day of the study or
the day before: On the eve of the study, in the evening, drink 0.5 liters of solution, in the morning (06: 00-07: 00)
drink the remaining 0.5l. The study is carried out with a full bladder.
Women need to have a hygiene tampon with them.

Attention! After X-ray examination of the stomach, colon with barium
(gastric fluoroscopy, irrigoscopy) CT examination of the abdominal organs
it is recommended to carry out no earlier than after 5-7 days (at least 3 days).In cases of emergency – after cleansing enemas.

Preparing for CT of the lungs

For computed tomography of the lungs without intravenous contrast
no preparation required.

How is the study going

We ask you to come to the Department of Radiation Diagnostics (9th floor) 10-15 minutes before
the appointed time for the start of the study and, by contacting the office, inform
about your arrival to the staff. Given the possibility of emergency research
niy, there is a possibility of waiting for the procedure for some time.Experience-
doctors and X-ray laboratory assistants will do everything to make you feel comfortable
and safe throughout the study.

Computed tomography is an absolutely painless procedure that takes
no more than 30 minutes (including changing clothes and, if necessary, carrying out intravenous
contrasting). The scan itself takes several minutes.
If it is necessary to carry out computed tomography with contrast, you will
will be invited to the treatment room, and the nurse will set you an intravenous
a catheter for the introduction of a contrast agent during the study.

Before the examination, you will be asked to remove all jewelry and metal objects,
falling into the scanning area, the X-ray technician who will carry out the procedure,
explain to you the rules of conduct during the examination, help you to get comfortable
on the tomograph table.

If the study is carried out using a contrast agent, it can be
introduced into the patient’s body in various ways, depending on the purpose of the study:
intravenously – with CT of the chest, abdomen and pelvis.

  • oral – contrast agent for some abdominal examinations
    need to drink
  • through a special catheter into the bladder or intestines

During the procedure, the patient lies on a special table connected to a CT scanner,
which is a large ring-shaped apparatus. The scanner spins around
the investigated part of the patient’s body, making layer-by-layer images of the corresponding organ.
A faint hum or clicking sound may be heard.

During the procedure, try not to move, as movement of your body can
reduce image quality.

Given that a CT scanner emits X-rays, the machine usually
located in a special shielded (protected) room. Control
the apparatus is carried out automatically from the next office, in which the
tomograph computer unit, monitors and condition monitoring equipment
the patient. The doctor performing the test can see and hear you.You will be able to talk
with him through a special intercom. The specialist may ask you
hold your breath for a few seconds for a clearer image.

Based on the images obtained, the doctor of the Department of Radiation Diagnostics gives a medical
conclusion. In addition, your healthcare provider can comment on the results of the study.
doctor or surgeon.

How does a patient feel during a CT scan?

The procedure itself is absolutely painless. Some inconvenience can be caused by a tough
the surface of the table, the inability to move and the temperature in the CT office (in the office
may be cool).

Some patients experience nervousness inside the tomograph.
When contrast agent enters a vein, a sensation of warmth, heat,
or a metallic taste in the mouth. Sometimes patients experience nausea or headaches
pain. Be sure to tell your doctor or X-ray technician about your feelings.

After CT scan:

You can receive the results of CT scan in the form of a written opinion,
made by the doctor of radiation diagnostics, and pictures.Recording of results is also possible
research on CD-disk. Research results you expect in the hall near the office
CT. Waiting time, depends on the complexity of the clinical and diagnostic situation, on average,
approximately 20-30 minutes. The results of the study can be commented on by a doctor
departments of radiology diagnostics and your doctor.

After researching, you can immediately return to your normal life.

If you have undergone a study using a contrast agent, you
may be asked to stay at the clinic for a while to make sure that
You feel good.During the day after the study, you need to drink more
liquids; this will accelerate the excretion of the contrast agent from the body.

If you have any additional questions, you
want to sign up for or reschedule a study, and
in case of impossibility to come to the study, call,
please, to the administrators of the Coloproctology Clinic
by phone: +7 (499) 686-00-16 ,
and they will help you solve all the questions.

To make an appointment

You can make an appointment and find out detailed information about treatment at the Clinic for Coloproctology and Minimally Invasive Surgery by calling:
+7 (499) 686-00-16 or via the feedback form

Our specialists

All specialists

90,000 Computed tomography (CT) examination

This information will help you prepare for your computed tomography (CT) exam.

to come back to the beginning

About the CT study

A CT scan consists of taking a series of x-rays using a quick scan. Combining these images creates images of soft tissue and bone in the area of ​​interest.

You may need to inject a contrast agent for a CT scan. It depends on the reason for the CT scan and on which part of the body the doctor needs to examine. A contrast agent is a special dye that allows your doctor to better see changes in your internal organs.

There are different types of contrast media used for scanning procedures. For CT, an iodine-containing contrast agent is used. Iodine contrast agent is different from the contrast agent that is injected during an MRI examination.

Iodine contrast agent can be administered in two ways: orally (through the mouth) and through an intravenous (IV) catheter (thin flexible tube) placed on the arm, or a central venous catheter (CVC), such as an implantable port.

Oral contrast agent

If your doctor has ordered a CT scan using an oral contrast agent, you will be asked when you arrive for this test if you are allergic to iodine contrast agents. Depending on whether you have such allergies, you will receive one of the oral contrast solutions listed below. They work the same way, serve the same purpose, and are safe even for diabetic patients.

  • Iodine contrast agent
  • Dissolved barium sweetened with saccharin. You will be given it if you are allergic to iodine contrast agents.

If you are using an oral contrast agent, you will start drinking it before the test. During this time, the contrast solution will enter the intestines.

Intravenous contrast agent

If your doctor has ordered a CT scan with intravenous contrast, it will be injected into one of your veins or your CVC (if available).

Reactions to contrast agent

Some people may have an allergic reaction to contrast media. Be sure to tell your doctor if you have an allergy or a previous reaction to CT contrast. If your doctor thinks you need to be given medication (s) to reduce the risk of a reaction, you will be provided with the resource Preventing an Allergic Reaction to Contrast Dye.


If you are breastfeeding, you can continue after CT with contrast.If you have any questions, or would like to discuss the use of contrast media or breastfeeding, talk to your radiologist on the day of your CT scan.

Removing devices from the skin

If you are wearing any of the following devices on your skin, the manufacturer recommends that you remove it before having a scan or procedure:

  • Continuous blood glucose meter (CGM)
  • Insulin pump

Contact your healthcare professional for an appointment closer to the date of the planned device replacement.Make sure you have a spare device with you that you can wear after your scan or procedure.

If you are unsure of how you can control your glucose level while the device is off, talk to your diabetes care provider prior to your visit.

to come back to the beginning

On the day of CT examination

You can eat and drink as usual on the day of your CT scan.

Before scanning

  • You may need to change into a hospital gown before your CT scan.
  • If you are using an oral contrast agent, you will start drinking it before the test.
  • In case of intravenous administration of contrast medium:
    • Your healthcare team will ask you:
      • if you have kidney disease;
      • if your kidney function is impaired;
      • if you have had kidney surgery;
      • if you have diabetes;
      • Are you taking metformin or a medicine that contains metformin (for example, Glucophage ® , Glumetza ® , or Janumet ® ).
    • If you answered yes to any of these questions, or if you are 70 years of age or older, you will need to have a blood test called serum creatinine before the CT scan. If the doctor who ordered your CT scan did not check your serum creatinine level in advance, we will determine it before the test.
    • The nurse will place an intravenous (IV) catheter into a vein in your arm or hand if you do not have a CVC.You will receive a contrast agent through an IV catheter or CVC.

During scan procedure

When the time is right for your procedure, the technician will take you to the office and help you to lie down on the scanning machine table. The CT machine looks like a huge donut with a hole in the middle. This is a diagnostic scan ring. There is no tube like there is in an MRI scanner.
As you settle down on the table, the table will slowly pass through the diagnostic scan ring.When passing through the ring, you must lie absolutely still until the scan is complete.

After the technician takes the first set of scans, you will be injected with contrast agent into your IV catheter or CVC. You may feel warmth and a slight metallic taste in your mouth. If you feel pain at the insertion site of the IV catheter, or have symptoms such as itching, swelling, dizziness, or trouble breathing or light-headedness, tell your nurse.

CT scan takes less than 30 minutes.

After scanning procedure

  • If you had an IV catheter inserted, the nurse will remove it and apply a bandage over the insertion site. You can remove the bandage after 1 hour if you are not bleeding.
  • If you feel unwell, or have questions or concerns, talk to your doctor or laboratory technician.
  • Tell the nurse if you have any of the following symptoms:
    • itching;
    • rash;
    • dizziness.
    • breathing problems;
    • feeling weak or light-headed;
    • Swelling or discomfort around the IV catheter site.

Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, within 24 hours of your CT scan. The water will help flush the contrast agent out of your body.

to come back to the beginning

X-ray of the stomach with barium | MRI Expert

Today, when it comes to examining the stomach, the association with gastroscopy probably immediately arises.Are X-ray methods applicable for the diagnosis of pathologies of this organ?

You are interested in the question “Where to make an X-ray of the stomach with barium?” We will tell you about this research method in comparison with CT.

Our interlocutor is a radiologist “Expert Clinic Kursk” Bobryshev Sergey Viktorovich.

– Sergey Viktorovich, with stomach pains, people are often afraid to go to the doctor, fearing the upcoming procedure – gastroscopy. But is it only this method that allows the doctor to assess the condition of the patient’s stomach? Tell me, can X-ray methods of examination of the stomach be an alternative to gastroscopy?

To a certain extent, yes.Today there are fluoroscopy and radiography of the stomach, as well as computed tomography. In practice, it is common to start with fluoroscopy and take pictures (radiographs) as needed.

Each of these methods has advantages and limitations. For example, with fluoroscopy, an organ can be viewed in dynamics, in motion, and the contractions of its wall can be seen. X-rays and CT scans provide a static image, i.e. the state of the stomach at any particular moment (s) in time.

“Modern X-ray studies in medicine are considered safe enough if the dose of radiation exposure is not exceeded.” Quote from the article “What is the danger of X-rays?”

– How is the X-ray procedure of the stomach? How long does it take?

The examination takes approximately 20-30 minutes. The patient stands behind the X-ray machine and gradually drinks about 200 ml of a suspension of a contrast agent – barium sulfate. After that, the doctor examines the stomach in different positions of the patient – standing, lying down.X-rays are taken if necessary.

Sometimes, before the main examination, a plain X-ray of the abdominal cavity is performed to exclude perforation (perforation) of the organ, intestinal obstruction.

As contrast agent
for X-ray of the stomach
is used
suspension of barium sulfate

– How to prepare for this study?

Preparation for an X-ray of the stomach is not difficult.2-3 days before the examination, it is recommended to refrain from foods that promote gas formation in the intestines (cabbage, etc.). The procedure is performed on an empty stomach. The last meal is 6-8 hours before the diagnosis.

– How does an X-ray with barium differ from a conventional X-ray of the stomach? Is the barium suspension dangerous for the body?

The fact that a conventional X-ray, without barium suspension, gives almost no diagnostic information. In other words, an X-ray of the stomach is usually performed using this substance (in the absence of contraindications), otherwise the doctor will not see anything except the gas bubble of the stomach.

Conventional X-ray, without barium suspension, does not give
almost no diagnostic information

The barium suspension itself is safe for health. A suspension of barium sulfate with a creamy consistency, it tastes like chalk.

– Information about which organs does the doctor get when giving a patient an X-ray of the stomach? Are the images only showing the stomach or the entire gastrointestinal tract?

During the study, you can see several parts of the digestive system: the esophagus, stomach and the initial parts of the duodenum.The study proceeds as the contrast passes through the organs, i.e. in the order listed. Other, lower parts of the gastrointestinal tract using this particular technique are not investigated.

“Colonoscopy reliably excludes serious pathology of the mucous membrane of the large intestine.” Quote from the article “Intestinal MRI and colonoscopy: complementarity or alternative?”

– What is a contrast-enhanced X-ray examination of the stomach?

This is an X-ray examination of the stomach with a contrast agent – suspension of barium sulfate.

– How is a CT scan of this organ different from an X-ray of the stomach? Does it have any advantages over the classic X-ray of the stomach?

In contrast to fluoroscopy, the examination takes a very short time. During the procedure, the patient does not feel discomfort, it is carried out in one position – horizontal. For stretching, the so-called tight filling of the stomach, water is used. There is a variant of the study, when a little iodine-containing contrast is added to the water, however, plain water is mainly used.

To obtain contrast images during CT of the stomach, intravenous administration of a special contrast agent is used.

– Recently, the method of magnetic resonance imaging has been widely used in diagnostics. Is it applicable for examining the stomach?

Today, MRI alone is not informative enough for the diagnosis of gastric pathology, and therefore is often used in conjunction with other methods. It should be remembered that in the diagnosis there is no panacea, “ideal” research methods, so they often complement each other.

“Intestinal MRI is performed with contrast enhancement and lasts about an hour.” Quote from the material “What does the MRI of the intestine show?”

– How is CT of the stomach performed? How long does it take to perform a computed tomography of the stomach?

All metal objects that can distort the resulting images are removed from the human body. The patient drinks half a liter of water, lies down on the diagnostic table, after which the examination is carried out. A contrast agent may be injected intravenously.

The total research time is approximately 20-30 minutes.

Average fluoroscopy and CT of the stomach approximately
comparable in radiation exposure – about 6-7
millisieverts per survey

– What preparation is needed before undergoing CT of the stomach?

In general, the same as before the X-ray of the stomach. Those. a diet is followed: 2-3 days before the diagnosis, it is recommended to refrain from foods that cause gas formation in the intestines.The procedure is performed on an empty stomach. The last meal is 6-8 hours before the study.

– What dose of radiation does a person receive from X-rays and computed tomography of the stomach?

There is no definite answer – in particular, it depends on the device: the dose is lower for more modern ones. On average, fluoroscopy and CT of the stomach are approximately comparable in terms of radiation exposure – about 6-7 millisieverts per examination (sievert is a unit of measurement of doses of ionizing radiation).

– Are there any adverse effects possible after X-ray examination of the stomach?

When following indications and contraindications – no.

– Do these methods have contraindications?

Yes. The main ones are pregnancy, allergy to iodine and iodine-containing contrast agents, impaired renal function (in this pathology, contrast cannot be used), the general serious condition of the patient.

– Are gastric X-rays performed on children? From what age?

Yes, but only as indicated by a doctor.

– Do I need a doctor’s referral to have a CT scan of the stomach?


You can find out the cost of computed tomography of the stomach in the federal network of Expert clinics here

attention: the service is not available in all cities

For information:

Bobryshev Sergey Viktorovich

Graduated from the medical faculty of Kursk State Medical University in 2010.

From 2010 to 2011, he passed an internship in the specialty “Radiation Diagnostics and Therapy”.

Currently works at the “Expert Clinic Kursk” as a radiologist.

Receives at the address: st. Karl Liebknecht, 7.

90,000 What is barium CT?

Computed tomography (CT) with barium is a medical procedure in which parts of a person’s stomach and intestines are chemically separated with a barium sulfate solution to facilitate X-ray viewing.In most cases, patients should drink the liquid barium compound at prescribed intervals before the procedure, although the compound can also be administered with an enema if needed. Barium acts as a contrast agent and makes the stomach and intestines appear better on scans. This usually contributes to a more accurate diagnosis of often complex intestinal diseases.

Doctors often order CT scans to get a kind of “inside look” at what is happening under the skin.CT scans are greatly enhanced by X-rays. A traditional X-ray is a single image taken from one angle. A CT scan uses the same basic technology, but captures images from different angles, which can then be compiled into a 3D image. Barium CT is almost always a CT scan of the stomach or digestive tract.

There are many different reasons for barium computed tomography, although cancer and abnormal growth of the stomach and intestines are among the most common.The presence of barium can help shed light on even the smallest deviations. Standard computer scans are often very helpful for initial diagnosis, but barium scans go even further, helping doctors identify unusual growths and track disease progress. In almost all cases, the patient will undergo standard non-contrast CT before the barium CT.

Liquid Barium helps improve abdominal and pelvic scans by covering the lining of the stomach and intestines.The formulation is not a permanent colorant and it usually leaves the body relatively quickly upon entry. Its main advantage lies in how it interacts with radiation from a CT scanner. When present in large enough doses, it often blocks the rays, resulting in illumination and clarity of the image of organs and any problem areas.

Barium is not without side effects, however. Patients ordered to undergo a barium CT scan often report that barium is the most difficult and most inconvenient part of the procedure.This is partly due to how much to consume, as well as the chalk, dense texture, and generally unpleasant taste. Its side effects, which include nausea and loose gut, can be long lasting. The scan itself, by contrast, is usually fairly quick and painless.

A patient undergoing a barium CT scan is usually instructed to drink large quantities of the liquid compound at set intervals, resulting in a procedure often costing several boxes.All other foods and drinks should generally be avoided, even water. Anything other than the barium in the stomach can skew the results.

In more rare cases, barium can also be injected directly into the intestines through an enema. This procedure is most often prescribed for CT scanners aimed at the lower intestine. Because of the discomfort they cause in most patients, these types of CT scans are usually only prescribed when results from other tests, such as colonoscopy, are inconclusive.


90,000 CT scans of the abdominal organs. How to prepare, what shows and where to do?

The direction of computed tomography is becoming more common for both patients and doctors. Meanwhile, this type of diagnosis is quite young: the first tomogram was made on a patient in the early 1970s. Doctors regarded this as a huge step: they got the opportunity not only to see the internal organs of a person, but to examine their structure in detail, which opened up almost limitless possibilities for diagnosis.Data accuracy and high information content are the hallmarks of computed tomography (CT).

What CT scan of the abdominal cavity and retroperitoneal space shows

CT is one of the types of X-ray examination. However, it has an important difference from a conventional X-ray: if we get a two-dimensional image on a picture, then on a tomogram, due to the special design of the apparatus, as a result, a three-dimensional image of an organ is formed with the ability to see its structure on a “cut”.

How is this possible? The fact is that in a tomograph the X-ray source has the shape of a ring. The patient is placed inside the machine, and as a result, the images are taken from different points and at different angles. It turns out to capture actually a “cut” of the organ. Then, with the help of a computer, many “slices” are combined, and the doctor sees a complex picture.

Computed tomography is a highly accurate method: if the difference in density between tissues is only 0.5%, the tomograph will record this.Thus, with the help of CT, you can examine both tubular organs (intestines) and parenchymal organs such as the liver or kidneys.

Interesting fact
The method of computed tomography was invented by the British engineer Godfrey Hounsfield. He later received the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology (together with Allan Cormack), and in addition, a unit for measuring the density of a medium for X-rays is named after him.

CT scan of the abdominal cavity shows the following pathologies and disorders:

  • cysts, benign and malignant tumors, abscesses, stones;
  • affection of lymph nodes, changes in blood vessels, atherosclerosis, hemorrhages;
  • congenital anomalies of organs.

CT also makes it possible to assess the state of internal organs: their size, boundaries, and structural features of tissues. In addition, the doctor sees the degree of deviation from the norm in trauma.

CT is often prescribed for chronic dysfunctions of one or another organ or persistent pain, if traditional diagnostic methods fail to identify the causes. Often, tomography is performed before surgery in order to assess whether the patient will be able to undergo the operation, how large-scale intervention will be required.For example, before an oncological operation, CT can show the degree of metastasis. During the recovery period, a comparison of CT results taken at different times can clearly demonstrate the dynamics of recovery.

The list of diseases that can be detected by CT of the abdominal cavity and retroperitoneal space is truly huge: atherosclerosis, hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver hepatosis, urolithiasis, gallbladder pathologies, pancreatitis, adrenal adenoma or cyst, vascular aneurysms, etc.

For a more accurate diagnosis, CT scan with the introduction of a contrast agent is performed. It increases the detail of the examination: thanks to the contrast, the doctor sees everything in more detail. Usually, a contrast agent is used if there is a suspicion of tumors and cysts, and it can also be used to study the state of the vessels in detail. The contrast is injected intravenously, with an enema, or the patient drinks a special solution. If the need for detailing arises directly during the tomography, then the contrast can be entered immediately, and not in advance.

Indications and contraindications

CT is a very detailed diagnostic method. So why isn’t it assigned to everyone? The fact is that this is an X-ray examination, that is, it gives a certain radiation load on the body, therefore, some categories of patients cannot be examined. And finally, the cost of CT is higher than, for example, the cost of ultrasound, which is also widely used in the diagnosis of diseases of the abdominal organs.

However, in some cases, CT is the best diagnostic method.For example, with a closed abdominal injury, when the doctor cannot determine the nature of the injuries received by the patient by the symptoms. CT is also prescribed for pain of unknown origin, weight loss that has no cause, or if tumors and neoplasms inside the abdominal cavity are suspected. With already diagnosed cancer, tomography allows you to see if the patient has metastases and how widespread they are (CT scan with contrast helps in this). If you suspect cirrhosis, hepatitis, and jaundice, which is caused by blockage of the bile ducts, CT can also be prescribed.

Tomography of the abdominal cavity can also be used as a clarifying method: for example, when an ultrasound scan reveals a pathology, but the patient needs further examination.

The method has contraindications. First of all, they concern pregnant women: they cannot be CT scanned. If the expectant mother for any reason needs detailed diagnostics, she can have an MRI scan (in the second and third trimesters). Also, CT is not done for children under the age of 14 – this examination is performed only in case of urgent need when it comes to saving lives.The third serious limitation is the patient’s weight – usually the couches of the devices are designed for a weight of no more than 150 kg.

Breastfeeding mothers can have computed tomography, but in case of using a contrast medium, it is necessary to check with the doctor what break in feeding should be done. The study with contrast should not be carried out in patients with diabetes mellitus, kidney pathologies and allergies to the injected substance.

Preparation for CT of the abdominal organs

The examination is carried out on an empty stomach, as active peristalsis of the stomach and intestines after a meal can distort the results.Also, the final image can be affected by the accumulation of gases in the intestines, therefore, two days before the prescribed CT scan, you need to change the diet: reduce the consumption of foods that cause increased gas formation. It is worth temporarily excluding black bread, dairy products, vegetables and fruits, sweets and carbonated drinks from the diet.

Before the examination, you can take a drug that reduces gas production, for example, activated carbon. If the patient has problems with the work of the gastrointestinal tract, then he needs to coordinate the preparation process for CT with the doctor.For constipation, cleansing enemas may be recommended.

In preparation for CT scans of individual organs, the doctor may ask you to pre-do an ultrasound or X-ray. It is advisable to come to CT scan of the abdominal cavity with the results of preliminary examinations. Please note that sufficient time must elapse between CT and barium x-rays: barium in the body can interfere with the tomogram.

Before the tomography, it is necessary to remove all clothing with metal fittings, jewelry, remove dentures.All of these items can interfere with a reliable examination.

How often can abdominal CT be done?

We have already said that computed tomography is an X-ray method, which means that it gives radiation exposure to the body. The magnitude of the received load depends on the apparatus and on the area of ​​examination. With regard to the diagnosis of the abdominal cavity, the average X-ray dose that a patient receives on a CT scan is up to 7 mSv. In this case, the annual dose of radiation that a person receives under normal conditions is up to 3-4 mSv.That is why computed tomography is not recommended to be done often.

Interpretation of diagnostic results

If the patient is referred for CT, he should take into account that the study takes about an hour. At the same time, the creation of images directly requires only a few minutes: the rest of the time is spent on preparing and decoding the results. If the procedure is performed with contrast, then the examination itself may take a little longer. In some cases, the doctor discusses the CT scan results with the patient immediately after the procedure, and a detailed conclusion is provided to the attending physician later.

Usually, the patient receives scans or a tomography record on a flash drive or disk, as well as a written opinion. It describes the size, shape, position and relative position of organs, notes the identified deviations from the norm (including congenital anomalies). All the detected formations are described below: abscesses, cysts, stones, etc. For example, if an area of ​​tissue that looks like a honeycomb is detected on a tomogram, then the doctor may assume the presence of a tumor.A uniform thickening of the intestinal wall over approximately 1 cm indicates, most likely, a non-malignant disease, for example, Crohn’s disease or enteritis. If the area of ​​thickening is more than 2 cm, then we are talking, most likely, about cancer. However, the final conclusion is made by the specialist, to whom the patient comes with the results of CT.

The final “picture” of CT can be influenced by the movement of the patient during the examination, deep breathing (movement of the chest can “smear” the image), strong peristalsis.Also, certain distortions are introduced by metal elements that are in the body (for example, prostheses or implants) – the doctor must be warned about their presence in advance. If the patient is taking drugs containing bismuth, CT scan must be postponed – the content of bismuth in the body also distorts the “picture”.

X-ray studies


Irrigoscopy – X-ray examination of the intestine, in which a contrast agent is injected through the rectum.The study reveals polyps, obstruction, perforation and tumor formations.

Preparation for the study

Preparation for the study is a necessary and most important aspect of successful conduct and includes: diet for 2 days + drug preparation on day 3 (on the eve of the study).

Day 1, 2: diet

Exclude: grain-containing products, nuts, legumes, fresh and dried fruits and vegetables, dairy products, fatty meats and fish, mushrooms, spices, alcoholic and carbonated drinks, smoked meats, canned food.

Allowed: flour products without additives (raisins, poppy, whole grains, etc.), cereals, eggs, lean meats and fish, mashed potatoes, jelly, clear juices, broths, omelet, honey, weak tea and coffee, still water.

Day 3: liquids + medication

Avoid any solid food.

It is allowed to take any transparent liquids in unlimited quantities (broths, tea, coffee, juices without pulp, water).

In our clinic, we recommend preparing for the study with preparations based on polyethylene glycol (Moviprep, Fortrans).The regimen for taking the drug depends on the time of the study.

If there are contraindications to the use of polyethylene glycol preparations, check the preparation scheme with your attending physician (individually).

Bring with you:

  1. Referral of the attending physician
  2. Results of sigmoidoscopy
  3. Results of previous examinations
  4. Sheet

Can everyone have an irrigoscopy?

The study should not be done on pregnant women, i.e.because X-rays can negatively affect the fetus.

How is the procedure going?

You will be asked to partially undress, remove jewelry, dentures, glasses, and any metal objects that might come in the path of the X-ray beam. The laboratory assistant will help you to lie down comfortably on the X-ray machine table. A catheter will be inserted into your rectum and through it the intestine will be filled with a suspension of barium sulfate, a contrast agent. Several x-rays will be taken.Then the intestine is inflated with air so that the walls of the intestine can be assessed, and several images will be taken again. At this time, you will have discomfort from stretching the intestines with air. The duration of the entire procedure is 30-45 minutes.

You will then have a bowel movement. You may have some more X-rays.

After examination:

We recommend drinking plenty of fluids for 3 days in order to accelerate the removal of contrast from the intestines. The contrast agent is not absorbed in the intestines and has no effect on the body.

When will I get the result?

It usually takes a physician 1-2 hours to evaluate the test results, but in difficult cases it takes up to 24 hours.