How to Prepare for Your CT Scan with IV and/or Oral Contrast


Apr 22,  · CT contrast, also referred to as contrast

It is measured using a blood An abdominal CT is a relatively safe procedure, but there are risks. Sometimes, the examination table will move during the scan, so that the x-ray beam follows a spiral path.

Contrast Dye

Apr 22,  · CT contrast, also referred to as contrast

The more X-ray photons that hit the detector, the darker the image will appear. Soft tissues are not dense so more photons hit the detector, resulting in a darker radiographic image without much contrast. The iodine or barium in contrast dye is very dense and "absorbs" X-ray photons at a greater rate than the body's soft tissues. The body part with the contrast inside will appear lighter on the radiographic image than the surrounding tissue. The images at the right demonstrate the difference in visibility of the abdominal organs with and without contrast.

The top image shows the abdomen without contrast. The less dense tissues of the liver, kidneys and other organs appear dark, while the denser bones of the vertebra and ribs appear light. The bottom image shows the abdomen after an IV contrast injection.

Notice how the kidneys, veins, and arteries appear much more visible when compared to the first image without contrast. Reactions to IV contrast vary from the mild to life threatening. Certain people are more susceptible to serious reactions to IV contrast. People who are at higher risk include those who have:. People with these prior conditions will be carefully screened to ensure they are healthy enough to receive IV contrast.

Blood will be drawn and analyzed, and an antihistamine may be prescribed prior to the next IV injection. A person who is taking glucophage or metformin must abstain from it for 48 hours after receiving CT IV contrast. They must also return to their doctor to have blood drawn and their creatinine levels checked.

A reaction to IV contrast is not a true allergy. According to the website U. Pharmacist, "Reactions to contrast media are not a true allergy, but rather a pseudoallergy There is no allergic antibody present that causes the reaction Contrast media act to directly release histamine and other chemicals from mast cells The higher the iodine concentration, the greater the risk of an adverse reaction.

Iodine is a substance essential to life and is found throughout your body and within the thyroid hormone.

Iodine is not an allergen. Iodine is a natural element and is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid. Iodine is found in seafood, dairy products, and some vegetables.

If you had a reaction to the contrast, you are allergic to a substance in the contrast itself. Is it true that if you are allergic to seafood, you cannot have intravenous CT contrast?

Seafood allergies are not related to the iodine found naturally in seafood. People who are allergic to seafood can eat other foods with iodine with no ill effects. When a person is allergic to shellfish, the body's allergic reaction is to tropomyosin, a protein found in muscles, not the iodine itself.

People who are sensitive to topical solutions containing iodine cannot have IV contrast. A sensitivity to these topical solutions do not contraindicate the use of IV contrast. Pharmacist, "Sensitivity to Betadine and other iodine-containing solutions is unrelated to reactions to iodinated radiographic contrast agents.

After a CT scan with Contrast, if not much water has been drunk, can contrast dye cause constipation? How is creatinine measured? The extra fluids help flush the contrast from your system which was needed for the CT scan. Drink as much liquid as you can. Creatinine is created by the normal breakdown of muscle tissue in the body. The kidneys remove it as a waste product. If a person's creatinine level is high, it may indicate a problem with kidney function.

Should patients with kidney failure use these contrast mediums for a CT scan? Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. I appreciate the questions and comments, but I cannot answer specific questions.

They will have answers suited to your unique situation. What is the elapsed time before a patient is given a second dose of IV contrast? One for a scan of the abdominal area and another for the chest? I had an allergic reaction 15 years ago when I had a heart cath.

The doctor wants to do a CT with contrast. Is there a contrast without iodine. I feel the more information people have about medical procedures, the better for the patient and the clinical staff. There is still a lot of disinformation floating around about CT contrast. You hub was very thorough with the information. I didn't realize that thre are so many different types of dyes. I especially found it very interesting that there are so many different allergies that relate to problems with iodine used in contrast dyes.

Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners. HubPages and Hubbers authors may earn revenue on this page based on affiliate relationships and advertisements with partners including Amazon, Google, and others. To provide a better website experience, healdove. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so. For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: Updated on April 24, 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. 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 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.

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 doctor's practices. A locked will be provided to secure all personal belongings. 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 dye. For oral contrast, you will be given a liquid contrast preparation to swallow.

In some situations, the contrast may be given rectally. 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. 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.

The technologist will be watching you at all times and will be in constant communication. 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. 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. 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. If contrast dye is used for your procedure, you may feel some effects when the dye is injected into the IV line. These effects usually last for a few moments.

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

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