Preparing for a Computed Tomography Scan

Patients should wear comfortable, loose clothing for the CT scan.

If a patient is to receive an injection of contrast material, he or she will first have to discuss with the radiologist any allergies or reactions he or she has had in the past. Many contrast materials contain iodine, which can trigger an allergic reaction in some individuals. Those patients who have had allergic reactions to other mediations may have a higher risk of reacting negatively to the contrast material as well. Newer contrast materials pose less risk of an allergic reaction. Patients who have had adverse reactions to iodine in the past should inform their doctor. He or she may decide to use a newer form of contrast material instead.

The injection of contrast material usually requires the signing of a waiver known as an “informed consent” form.

Other conditions you should disclose to your doctor and technologist are:

  • Asthma
  • Heart problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Thyroid problems
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy

If a woman recommended for a CT scan is pregnant, alternate measures may be taken to ensure the level of fetal radiation exposure is minimal, or altogether eliminated. For this reason, it is important to inform your doctor and x-ray technologist if you think you might be pregnant, even if your pregnancy has not yet been confirmed.

Because of the radiation exposure involved in a CT scan, friends and family members cannot be in the same room as the patient during the procedure.



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