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CT Abdomen

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CT Abdomen, Abdominal CT, CT Abdomen and Pelvis, Abdominopelvic CT

  1. Appendicitis
  2. Diverticulitis
  3. Bowel Obstruction
  4. Acute Pancreatitis
  5. Ureterolithiasis or Nephrolithiasis (no contrast)
  6. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (IV contrast only)
  7. Mesenteric Ischemia
  8. Crohn's Disease (CT enterography)
  9. Abdominal Trauma (IV contrast only)
  10. Intraabdominal abscess (with Oral Contrast in addition to IV contrast)
  1. Most Abdominal CT protocols require oral water only (no Oral Contrast)
    1. Patients with increased abdominal fat require less contrast
    2. Evaluation for Appendicitis or Diverticulitis does NOT require Oral Contrast
  2. Low Attenuation Contrast (air, water) is usually preferable to high attenuation Oral Contrast (e.g. barium, diatrizoate)
    1. High attenuation contrast may obscure malignancy and intestinal Hemorrhage
    2. Air alone is an excellent contrast due to low attenuation (-1000 Hounsfield Units)
      1. Allows for pneumoperitoneum (perforation) detection
    3. Oral water (400-600 ml) immediately prior to CT helps identify gastric lesions
      1. Water distends Stomach and differentiates gastric masses from Stomach wall
    4. References
      1. Broder (2018) Crit Dec Emerg Med 32(6): 12-3
  3. High Attentuation Oral Contrast (Gastrografin/Gastroview, Omnipaque, Readi-Cat/Barium) Indications
    1. Patient indications for Oral Contrast
      1. Lean patient (e.g. BMI <19-20 kg/m2)
      2. Age <18 years old
    2. Condition indications for Oral Contrast
      1. Bowel Fistula
      2. Bowel perforation or peptic ulcer perforation
      3. Intraabdominal Abscess
  4. References
    1. Anderson (2005) Am J Surg 190(3): 474-8 [PubMed]
    2. Garcia (2013) Acad Emerg Med 20(8): 795-800 [PubMed]
    3. Harrison (2013) West J Emerg Med 14(6): 595-7 [PubMed]
  • Adverse Effects
  • Children
  1. Sold-tumor risk from CT radiation exposure in children
    1. See CT-associated Radiation Exposure
    2. Girls: 1 new cancer per 300-390 CT Abdomen and Pelvis
    3. Boys: 1 new cancer per 670-760 CT Abdomen and Pelvis
    4. Miglioretti (2013) JAMA Pediatr 167(8): 700-7 [PubMed]
  • References
  1. Ashoo, Orman and Hollander in Herbert (2015) EM:Rap 15(6): 17