CT Scan of the abdomen is done to diagnose any problem in the digestive system. CT Scan is one of the most advanced diagnostic test for diagnosing digestive system diseases. Even though an ultrasound scan of the abdomen is able to diagnose most of these problems but CT Scan gives far more information than an Ultrasound Scan. CT Abdomen can be done in two ways - NCCT Abdomen means Non Contrast CT Scan of the abdomen. In this test the patient lies on the CT Scan table and our ultrafast CT Scanner completes the scan in less than 1 minute in a single breathhold. However the NCCT Scan of the abdomen gives much less information as compared to CECT Abdomen. CECT Abdomen means Contrast Enhanced CT Scan of the abdomen. In this test, the patient comes to the centre with empty stomach at 9 am in the morning. After waking up the patient can have water but no tea, coffee or breakfast. The patient is given oral contrast mixed with water. This contrast is to be consumed by the patient one glass every 15 minutes over 90 minutes period. The scanning is done after 90 minutes when the entire oral contrast is consumed. Once the patient lies of the CT table then intravenous non-ionic contrast is injected. The scan is completed in less than one minute after the injection of IV contrast.
Iodine is the only liquid which is radioopaque. When we want to see the blood vessels on CT Scan then this non-ionic contrast is mixed with the blood and when the X-rays from the CT Scan pass through the body then due to the presence of iodine in your blood, imaging of the blood vessels is obtained. Contrast studies not only helps in diagnosing any kind of blockages in the blood vessels but also show the vascularity of any tumour or mass in the body. Higher the vascularity, higher are the chances of this mass being malignant. Thus Contrast CT Scan of the abdomen is able to diagnose most of the cancerous lesions in the abdominal area. The contrast which is injected is flushed out of the body by the kidneys. Before giving contrast to any patient, a blood test to check the functioning of the kidneys is done. This test is called Blood Urea and Serum Creatinine or Kidney Function Test. If the values of kidney function test are normal then only Contrast CT can be done. If kidney function is not normal then MRI of the abdomen would be the preferred test. Since MRI gives more information than CT Scan, the results of non contrast MRI are comparable to Contrast CT Scan. You should not be wearing any jewellery or metallic object in the area of scanning.
CT Scan of the Abdomen is extremely useful in cases of trauma where the person has suffered abdominal injuries. Within few seconds, the CT Scan would be able to tell whether there is any kind of internal injury or bleeding inside the abdomen. Contrast CT Scan of the abdomen is useful in diagnosing any kind of cancer in the stomach, gall bladder, pancreas, spleen, intestines, liver etc. Any stone in the gall bladder, kidneys, ureter, pancreas will also be visualized very clearly in CT Scan examination. The cost of CT Scan of the abdomen ranges between Rs. 6000 - 15000. The higher end of the cost is for doing Triple Phase Study of the Abdomen with Contrast CT. The high cost of the CT Scan examination is due to the high cost of the machine. A good CT Scan machine of 50 slices would cost in the range of Rs. 1.5 - 2.0 Crores. Another high cost is the cost of tube which ranges between Rs. 35- 50 lacs and lasts for 3-4 years. The contrast given during the exam is also a very costly consumable. In each study, the cost of contrast itself is in the range of Rs. 800 - 3000. Each CT Scan study produces more than 700 - 800 images and the radiologists have to go through all these images for preparing the report. The report of CT Scan Abdomen is normally available within 6-8 hours of the study being completed.
Dr Rajesh Choudhary has more than 20 years of experience in the field of Radiology. Dr Choudhary has been trained in the latest radiological techniques from Sardar Patel Medical College, Bikaner and PGI Chandigarh.
Dr Shruti Sangwan has been trained at Lady Hardinge Medical College, Maulana Azad Medical College, PGI Chandigarh and Artemis Hospital Bhiwadi in the field of Radiology and has more than 18 years of experience.