A computerized tomography (CT) scan combines a series of X-ray images taken
from different angles aroung your body and uses computer processing to
create image slices of the bones, blood vessels and soft tissue inside
your body. CT scan images provide more detailed information than plain
Depending on what your doctor is looking for, this test may be ordered
with or without IV contrast.
What are Intravenous Contrast (IV) Media?
In order to see the blood vessels and body tissues on the scan, the technologist
must inject contrast media into a vein. Some people refer to this as "dye"
although it's not like the dye you might use at home. These contrast
media are liquid solutions that contain iodine and show up on X-rays.
It is removed from the body through the kidneys, but will not change the
color of your urine.
What to Bring
- Your physician order (your physician may have already sent this to us)
- Personal ID
- Insurance Card
- Medication List
- Any required screening forms
How to Prepare
- You should inform your physician if you have any allergies to contrast
- You should not eat or drink for 3 hours before you exam. (your normal medications are ok)
- Wear loose comfortable clothing and avoid clothing with zippers, buttons,
or belts made of metal.
- Please leave valuable jewelry at home.
- If there is any possibility that you are pregnant, you should inform the
- If you have a history of kidney problems, you should inform the technologist.
- If you have had an adverse reaction during a prior CT, you should inform
- If you are wearing an on-body medication pump, you should inform the technologist.
What to Expect
- This is a non-invasive exam.
- When you arrive, you will be given a cup of contrast to drink. This contrast
will need time to move through your stomach and intestines. Therefore,
you will need to wait between the time you drink and the time of your scan.
- During the exam you will be placed on a table and positioned inside the
center of a large ring-like scanner. The machine makes a minimal amount
of noise and the table moves forward and backward. The study is not painful.
- You may be asked to remove clothes and to wear a gown during your exam.
- You may be asked to remove jewelry, glasses, and any metal objects that
may interfere with the images.
- If your doctor ordered IV contrast, the technologist will start an IV in
a vein in your arm. The contrast will be injected through the IV and may
make you feel warm or flushed.
- Please allow 45 minutes from registration to completion of test.
Screening Forms for this Test: