One of the most popular and most reliable diagnostic methods is computed tomography. For the first time such a research method was tested in 1972, and already after 7 years computed tomography was awarded the Nobel Prize. Today we will discuss what the computed tomography of the abdominal cavity is done for.
Anamnesis of computed tomography
As already mentioned, the tomograph was first presented to the public in 1972. The operation of this device was based on well-known X-rays. Later, in medical practice, they began to use multi-spiral tomographs, which not only allow the specialized physician to obtain reliable and full-scale information about the condition of a patient’s organ, but are also considered completely harmless.
Before we talk with you about what a computed tomography of the abdominal organs is needed for, I would still like to focus a little on one historical fact. Initially, computed tomography was developed exclusively for the study of brain regions in order to diagnose complex and latent ailments. However, over time, it began to gain great popularity, and scientists have adapted the tomograph to study the organs of the peritoneum.
In addition to the internal abdominal organs, this method of examination allows to assess the condition of the lymph nodes and abdominal vessels. In addition, a narrow specialist or laboratory doctor gets the opportunity to examine the retroperitoneal space. Computed tomography allows to study the internal organs of the human peritoneum in layers with a minimum step that varies from 0.5 mm to 1 cm.
During the examination of the patient by means of a tomograph, the doctor gets a unique opportunity to see the state of the organs in a three-dimensional format. Thanks to this highly accurate method of diagnosis in the early stages, it is possible to identify a variety of ailments and notice even minor modifications of the connective tissues or vessels. Computed tomography allows you to explore these organs of the digestive tract:
As already mentioned, during tomography, the doctor assesses the state of the space behind the peritoneum. The following organs are also in the field of view of the tomograph:
- adrenal glands;
- organs of the urinary system;
- lymphoid tissue.
Medicine does not stand still, and for four decades the tomograph has been improved so that the doctor can immediately assess the condition of the patient’s internal organs, as well as obtain the necessary images and carefully examine them within 2 hours.
When is computed tomography needed?
Computed tomography can be assigned exclusively by the attending specialist if there are special indications or suspicions of the development of inflammatory processes, cancer pathologies, etc. Most often, this diagnostic procedure is prescribed in such cases:
- before surgery;
- with patient complaints of persistent strong and acute pain in the peritoneum, not having a specific etiology;
- in case of a dramatic change in weight category;
- in violation of the functioning of the digestive tract;
- as a result of injury to the peritoneal organs;
- to control the treatment process;
- if you suspect the presence of volumetric tumors in the cavity.
Computed tomography is considered an accurate diagnostic method. It can be used to identify not only obvious pathological processes, but also minor deviations from the norm. So, computed tomography makes it possible to identify the following ailments:
- lymph node pathology;
- the presence of bodies of foreign origin;
- malignant or benign tumors;
- blood disorders;
- cirrhosis of the liver;
- gallstone diseases;
- congenital abnormalities.
In addition to the above illnesses, by means of computed tomography, it is possible to identify at the initial stage very complex pathologies that do not have pronounced symptoms, for example, nephroptosis, polycystic disease, thrombosis, cholangitis, etc.
Tomography with and without contrast: the pros and cons
Many of us, perhaps, have heard that there is a computed tomography of the abdominal cavity with a contrast agent. What does it mean? In fact, this procedure is no different from the usual tomography, however, some features still exist.
As you already understood, the name of the diagnostic procedure is inextricably linked with the introduction of the so-called contrast agent. Most often in medical practice is used barium or iodine. Computed tomography of the abdominal cavity with contrast allows you to clearly see and see even the slightest changes in the affected areas of internal organs. Basically, this method of research is used to diagnose ailments of the liver, stomach, or blood vessels.
Such a substance is introduced in several ways:
- through enema;
Patients who are recommended such a procedure, do not need to worry, because the contrast agent does not adversely affect the internal organs and human health in general. It only paints pathogenic areas of the abdominal organs in a bright shade, which allows the specialist to make a reliable diagnosis. After 36 hours, this substance is completely eliminated from our body. The number of input contrast depends on the weight category of the person.
Preparatory stage: what to look for?
Every person realizes that any medical manipulation requires serious preparation, especially if it concerns research procedures. How is the preparation for computed tomography of the abdominal cavity? In fact, no supernatural man needs to perform any actions.
As it has been said many times, computed tomography is appointed by a specialized doctor for a specific date and time. The only exceptions are cases of urgent diagnosis.
Preparation for computed tomography of the abdominal organs begins 48 hours before the manipulation. A person is recommended to adjust his diet, eliminating alcoholic beverages, apples, cabbage, yeast products, as well as heavy and solid foods. These foods can cause increased gas production, which affects the reliability of research data.
If the patient needs to examine the intestines, then an enema is necessary before the procedure. The bladder may be slightly filled. Computed tomography is always carried out on an empty stomach; therefore, on the day of the procedure, even light foods should not be consumed before the procedure.
Before conducting a study, it is imperative that you remove yourself from all metal objects, jewelry If a person has implants or dental crowns made of metal, this should be reported to the laboratory doctor.
Are there any contraindications to the study?
Let's give a few words to contraindications. So, computed tomography is not assigned in such cases:
- if the patient has not reached the age of 14 (with the exception of cases of urgent need);
- during gestation;
- with the development of pathologies involving acute pain syndromes;
- in the presence of severe liver ailments.
Restriction is also established on the weight category. In medical practice, the study subject only to people whose weight does not exceed 120 kg. This is due to the functional features and the device tomograph.
Contrast tomography is not recommended during breastfeeding, as well as in the presence of renal failure. People suffering from allergic reactions to substances of a contrast type will also have to abandon such a diagnostic procedure.
Modern medicine daily makes rapid strides forward. New high-precision research instruments allow you to diagnose various ailments in the primary stages. The most informative and common diagnostic method is computed tomography. Now you know what this diagnostic method is and how to prepare for it. Be healthy!