If you’re wondering if you need a CAT scan, you’ve come to the right place. This article will explain what a CAT scan is, how it works, and what to expect during the procedure. You’ll also learn about the different types of CAT scans available, including those with contrast and those without.
CAT scans are performed to get a clearer picture of your body. A contrast medium is given to help make images more visible. This can be given as a drink or through a small tube into your arm. It will stay in your arm until the scan is complete. Your healthcare provider can recommend a facility that offers these procedures. You can also check with the American College of Radiology to see whether the radiologist you choose is accredited.
CT scans use a computer to create a multi-slice image of the body. They can reveal structural problems and abnormalities in nearly any part of the body. The most common types are CT scans of the chest, abdomen, and head. These scans take a few minutes and require little or no anesthesia. They can also detect lung cancer. The scans are painless and noninvasive but do have a small risk of radiation.
A CT scan of the chest can reveal a patient’s lungs in great detail. If a patient complains of chest pain or difficulty breathing, a doctor may order this scan to determine the condition of the lungs. A CT scan can help diagnose various lung conditions, including aortic aneurysms, emphysema, and lung cancer.
CAT scans with contrast
CAT scans with contrast are a type of diagnostic test that makes body tissues easier to see. The contrast agent is a liquid that is given to the patient through a thin tube into the arm. It stays in the body until the scan is complete. Patients may also take an oral sedative called Buscopan prior to the scan to ease muscle spasms.
While contrast material is usually harmless, some people are allergic to it and experience mild itchiness or rash. In extreme cases, a reaction can be life-threatening. Your healthcare provider will monitor you after the CT scan to ensure that you do not have a reaction. You should also tell your doctor if you are taking any medication that may cause allergic reactions.
A CAT scan is one of the most accurate diagnostic tools available. It allows doctors to examine the head, neck, chest, pelvis, and abdomen. Different types of tissues exhibit different degrees of natural contrast, which improves the quality of the image. However, soft tissues that are in contact with blood are harder to image. For these reasons, contrast imaging is often used to improve the visualization of soft tissues.
Some CAT scans require contrast material, which helps highlight soft tissue on the scan. Contrast material is not a dye but instead works by blocking the X-rays and appearing white on the image. However, it is important to note that some people may be allergic to contrast material.
Contrast is usually administered via an intravenous (IV) line. This line will be inserted into a vein in the lower spine or arm. The IV line will be left in the patient until the scan is completed. The contrast agent may cause a brief flushing or a metallic taste.
Some contrast materials may cause complications in the kidney. If you have kidney problems, you should notify your doctor before having a CT scan. The dye may leak into the bloodstream and affect the kidneys. In this case, you should take extra fluids and medicines to help your kidneys eliminate the dye safely.
It is also important to watch your diet during the four hours before the CAT scan with contrast. Drinking clear liquids such as black tea, broth, and ginger ale is important to prevent nausea caused by the contrast dye. Aside from liquids, patients should avoid taking oral diabetes medications 48 hours before the scan.