November 29, 2023
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Best Use of CT Scan Abdomen and Pelvis With Contrast (2023)


CT scan abdomen and pelvis with contrast is an imaging test to see the internal conditions of your abdomen and pelvis. Computed tomography (CT) helps your provider to diagnose any disease in your colon, intestines, and internal organs. In this article, you will see the procedure of a CT scan with contrast. You will know the side effects and risk factors of using contrast material during the CT exam.

What is the use of a CT scan with contrast?

A CT scanner is a large machine similar to a donut shape having a short tunnel at the center. CT scan consists of a series of X-rays and a computer to form a three-dimensional image of the body tissues, bones, and other structures.

Contrast is a special dye required for the CT scans to see detailed images of your internal body parts. Your provider will use contrast when there is a need to examine the organs with details. The contrast material stops the path of x-rays and shows images as white on the computer screen. It can make your bloodstream, intestines, and other parts more visible.

A healthcare provider will deliver you a drink containing a special liquid having contrast material. The second way is to provide the contrast with an IV injection before the exam. Your body releases the contrast material through urine.

When do you require the CT scan abdomen and pelvis with contrast ?

A CT scan is often recommended to identify the pain in your abdomen or pelvis. Some other conditions may help your doctor to see:

  • Infections
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease
  • Kidney and bladder stones
  • Abscesses (Painful deposition of pus developed by a bacterial infection)
  • Cancers of the liver, kidneys, pancreas, bladder, and ovaries.
  • Colitis (Advanced digestive disease)
  • Abdominal injuries such as liver, kidney, or internal organ damage.

Your radiologist may also ask for a CT scan abdomen and pelvis with a contrast to:

  • Plan and schedule surgery, such as organ transplants.
  • Direction for the biopsies and other methods like abscess drainages.
  • Plan and apply radiation treatments for tumors in addition to how well the treatment is going for chemotherapy.

What happens during a CT scan abdomen and pelvis with contrast?

Pelvis is a structure similar to a basin-shaped that provides support to your spinal column. It helps to keep safe your abdominal organs. Your pelvis is present between the abdomen and the thighs. The abdomen is your body space between your chest and pelvis.

After visiting the imaging center, a radiologist will guide you about the CT scan with contrast.


Following are the steps of the procedure for the CT scan that you should need to consider during the exam:

  • A radiologist will ask you to lie back at the CT scanner table. Your arms should be above your head.
  • You will need to take contrast through liquid or an IV injection.
  • A table will slide into the scanner. The scanner will be open from both ends.
  • A radiologist will monitor and hear during the exam.
  • You will be requested to hold your movement and breath (a few times) still during the same to get accurate images of your abdomen or pelvis.
  • You may have discomfort due to still movement despite the CT scan will not lead to any pain.

You can continue your regular activities and take enough water to eliminate the contrast material from your body. A radiologist will ask you to stay at the imaging center to see your images of the abdomen or pelvis. You may have your test report within one or two days.

How long does a CT scan with contrast take?

The overall procedure may take at least fifteen to thirty minutes.

What organs are seen on a CT scan abdomen and pelvis with contrast?

An abdomen includes the following organs which can be examined during the CT scan:

  • Stomach
  • Small intestine
  • Large intestine
  • Spleen
  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Gallbladder
  • Ovaries
  • Uterus
  • Pancreas
  • Bladder
  • Ureters
  • Blood vessels

The pelvis has three parts that can be diagnosed through the CT scan:

  • Ilium (The broad part of the hip bone)
  • Pubis (The lowest part of your hip)
  • Ischium (One of the bones that develop the hip)

How to prepare for the CT scan with contrast?

Some points you need to remember before going for a CT scan abdomen and pelvis with contrast are as follows:

  • Arrive at the imaging centers at least 30 minutes earlier.
  • Wear loose cloth before coming to the center. You need to wear a gown provided by your radiologist during the exam.
  • Avoid metal objects, such as jewelry, dentures, hairpins, eyeglasses, or watches, which may show inaccurate pictures.
  • Women may be required to take off their bra if it contains a metallic wire.
  • Avoid using hearing aids.
  • Inform your provider if you have metal implant devices.


You may need to avoid eating or drinking for at least a few hours if a provider uses contrast material in your CT exam. Inform your provider about the medication and if you carry an allergy. Your doctor will suggest some medicine if you have an allergy to contrast material to decrease the side effect of an allergic reaction.

You can consult online with a doctor if you are experiencing diabetes, kidney problems, heart disease, and other medical conditions before taking the CT scan abdomen and pelvis with contrast. You must consult a professional provider if you are pregnant.

CT scan abdomen and pelvis with contrast side effects:

The leading side effect of the CT scan with contrast are developed by an allergic reaction to contrast material. You should take an e-consultation if the allergy goes to its severity.


Following are the possible sides effects of using a contrast material during the exam:

  • Constipation
  • Abdomen cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • The appearance of rashes on your skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Itching
  • Headache
  • Throat or body parts swelling
  • Breathing problem.
  • Increased heartbeat

Risk factors of the CT scan with contrast include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Defects in the birth
  • Low risk of cancer

You can schedule an online appointment with a doctor to know about the risk factors of using the contrast material.


CT scan abdomen and pelvis with contrast is the procedure to diagnose any internal damage or if you are experiencing abdominal or pelvic diseases such as kidney stones, bladder stones, infections, and other conditions. A doctor will recommend you the treatment by observing the CT scan test result. You first need to discuss it with an online doctor before taking the exam if you are concerned about the CT scan.

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