CT Pelvis without Contrast
CT (Computed Tomography) scan is an imaging modality that uses a series of X-rays taken from different angles and a computer to create cross-sectional images of internal body organs, bones, and soft tissues. Pelvis refers to the area below your belly, surrounded by hip bones. It holds many vital urogenital organs and some parts of digestive organs like the large bowel, small bowel, urinary bladder, female reproductive organs, prostate, and other male reproductive organs, lymph nodes, and pelvic bones.
A contrast material is often used to enhance image quality, but it is not used in CT scans without contrast.
Why and when do you need this test?
Your doctor may advise this test if you have signs and symptoms of a disease related to the pelvic organs or some deranged results of other medical tests that may point toward the pathology of the organs that reside in the pelvis.
Some of the indications for a CT scan pelvis include the following;
- Blood in the urine (hematuria)
- Pelvic trauma and fractures
- Difficulties with urination
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding,
- Pelvis infections
- Pelvic pain,
- Hip pain,
- Problems with genital organs (testes, scrotum, prostrate),
- Masses, tumors, and abscesses of the pelvic organs identified by some other tests
- Cancer staging
Do you need to prepare for the test?
- You may be asked to use only a liquid diet 3-4 hours before the test or to stop drinking or eating for a few hours before the test.
- Take advice from your doctor about your daily medications.
What can you expect?
- You will be asked to lie down on the table that will slide into the CT scan machine that looks like a large donut with a tunnel.
- You need to lie down still and not move to prevent the images from getting blurry.
- You will be alone in the room but under the constant care of a technician across the glass window who will be talking to you.
- It is a painless procedure that lasts for about 15-30 minutes but may take longer.
Are there any risks to this test?
It is a non-invasive test that uses low doses of X-rays that poses no risks. Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or have kidney disease.
What do the test results mean?
The abnormal results may include;
- Ureter or Urinary bladder stones
- Bladder or colorectal cancer,
- Ovarian tumor,
- Endometrial fibroids, adenomyosis or cancer,
- Prostate or testicular cancers,
- Structural defects of the pelvic organs,
- Bone tumors,
- Pelvic or hip fractures,
Other related tests may include:
- MRI of the pelvis
- Pelvic Ultrasound