What is the Difference between a CT Scan with and without Contrast?

21,727 Views Updated: 24 May 2018
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What is the Difference between a CT Scan with and without Contrast?

You must have often heard the term CT scan on television or in daily life when someone has been asked to get their body scanned. This procedure takes a detailed image of the body in case of an injury or any other disease that may have affected the internal organs. 

Though CT scans also differs and there are CT Scan with and without Contrast. So, what really are these two types of CT scan and ‘what is the difference between a CT scan with or without contrast’.

What Is A CT Scan?

CT scan which is also known as computed tomography of the body is conducted only under special circumstances and uses special x-ray equipment to probe head injuries, severe headaches, dizziness, and other symptoms of an aneurysm, bleeding, stroke, and tumors in the body. They provide a detailed and clear picture of the problem in hand which helps the doctor to understand which part of the organ is affected. It further helps your doctor to gauge your face, sinuses, and skull or to prepare for radiation therapy for brain cancer.

(Image Courtesy: Health informatics)

CT Scanning Of The Head 

A CT scan works quite like a normal X ray and produces numerous images or pictures of the inside of the body. The cross sectional images that a CT scan produces can be further reformatted in different planes. They can also be used to create three-dimensional images. These images can easily be viewed on a computer and can be even transferred onto a CD or DVD. The difference between an ordinary X ray and a CT image is that the latter produces images of internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels which provides great detailing especially those of the soft tissues and blood vessels. On the contrary, CT scan is required during an internal injury, stroke, brain tumor or other brain diseases.

(Image Courtesy: Healthline)

CT Scan With Contrast 

A specific type of CT scan that is done with contrast is called angiogram. In such type of a CT scan, the contrast is timed in such a way it will bring into focus either the arteries or veins. For example, a CT angiogram of the chest which is done to assess for PE will have the timing set in such a way that the contrast is only present in the area of interest which here are the pulmonary arteries. So, if you look for a major difference between a CT Scan with and without Contrast, it is just the contrast dye that is used to highlight in general IV contrast or CT angiogram and bring to focus certain area of the organ.

(Image Courtesy: Healthy but Smart)

Preparation For A CT Scan 

Major precautions are only required in case of a contrast CT scan where you will be asked to sign a consent form and you will need to withhold food and drink. You will be required to inform your doctor about all the medicines that you are currently taking and if you are allergic to iodine or ever had a reaction to any contrast dye. Depending on your medical condition they will take you forward with the process.

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(Featured Image Courtesy: Regional West Medical)

Yes, They Are

Nice post.Thanks for sharing

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