Sometimes a chemical (called contrast) is used to help improve the pictures. Complications with contrast are rare. If you are planning to have a CT scan with contrast, your doctor will review a list of possible complications. These may include:
Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the test.
What to Expect
Prior to Test
Your doctor may instruct you to:
Avoid eating or drinking anything for four hours before the test if contrast will be used.
Remove any metal objects (eg, jewelry, hearing aids, dentures).
Description of the Test
In some cases, contrast is needed. It helps make certain organs and tissues more visible on the images. It will be injected into a vein.
You will be positioned on a special moving table. The table will advance slowly through the CT scanner. You will need to be still during the entire test. If you have a hard time with this, the technician may need to use a device to keep your head still. As the scanner takes pictures, you will hear humming and clicking. You will be able to talk to the technician via an intercom.
If you had contrast, you may be told to drink extra fluid. This will flush the contrast from your body.
How Long Will It Take?
About 10-60 minutes
Will It Hurt?
You may feel flushed if you received contrast. You may notice a salty or metallic taste in your mouth. You may also feel nauseous.
The CT images will be sent to a radiologist who will analyze them. Your doctor will receive the results and discuss them with you.
Call Your Doctor
If you receive contrast, call your doctor if any of the following occurs after the test:
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a