BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuPelvic CT scanCAT scan - pelvis; Computed axial tomography scan - pelvis; Computed tomography scan - pelvis; CT scan - pelvisA computed tomography (CT) scan of the pelvis is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create cross-sectional pictures of the area between the hip bones. This part of the body is called the pelvic area.Computed tomography (CT) scanA computed tomography (CT) scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create pictures of cross-sections of the body. Related tests include:Abdomin...Read Article Now Book Mark Article x-raysX-rays are a type of electromagnetic radiation, just like visible light. An x-ray machine sends individual x-ray particles through the body. The im...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Structures inside and near the pelvis include the bladder, prostate and other male reproductive organs, female reproductive organs, lymph nodes, small intestine, colon, and pelvic bones.Single CT images are called slices. The images are stored on a computer, viewed on a monitor, or printed on film. Three-dimensional models of the body area can be created by stacking the slices together. How the Test is Performed You are asked to lie on a narrow table that slides into the center of the CT scanner.Once you are inside the scanner, the machine's x-ray beam rotates around you. You will not see the rotating x-ray beams.You must be still during the exam, because movement causes blurred images. You may be told to hold your breath for short periods of time.The scan should take less than 10 minutes. How to Prepare for the Test Certain exams require a special dye. It is called contrast media. It has to be delivered into the body before the test starts. The contrast helps certain areas show up better on the x-rays.Contrast can be given through a vein (IV) in your hand or forearm. Or you may be asked to drink a liquid form of contrast. If contrast is used, you may also be asked not to eat or drink anything for 4 to 6 hours before the test. Let your health care provider know if you have ever had a reaction to contrast. You may need to take medicines before the test in order to safely receive this substance. Before receiving the contrast, tell your provider if you take the diabetes medicine metformin (Glucophage) because you may need to take extra precautions. Before receiving the contrast, tell your provider if you have kidney problems. You may not be able to get IV contrast if this is the case.If you weigh more than 300 pounds (136 kilograms), find out if the CT machine has a weight limit. Too much weight can damage the scanner's working parts.You will be asked to remove jewelry and wear a hospital gown during the study.You may be asked to drink an oral contrast solution. How the Test will Feel Some people may have discomfort from lying on the hard table.Contrast given through an IV may cause:Slight burning sensation Metallic taste in the mouth Warm flushing of the bodyThese sensations are normal and most often go away within a few seconds. Why the Test is Performed CT rapidly creates detailed pictures of the body, including the pelvis and areas near the pelvis. The test may be used to diagnose or detect:Masses or tumors, including cancer The cause of pelvic pain Injury to the pelvisThis test may also help:Guide a surgeon to the right area during a biopsy or other procedures BiopsyA biopsy is the removal of a small piece of tissue for laboratory examination.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Your provider plan for surgery Plan radiation treatment for cancerRadiationRadiation therapy uses high-powered x-rays, particles, or radioactive seeds to kill cancer cells.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Normal Results Results are considered normal if the organs of the pelvis that are being examined are normal in appearance. What Abnormal Results Mean Abnormal results may be due to:Abscess (collection of pus) Bladder stones Bladder stonesBladder stones are hard buildups of minerals. These form in the urinary bladder.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Broken bone Cancer DiverticulitisDiverticulitisDiverticula are small, bulging sacs or pouches that form on the inner wall of the intestine. Diverticulitis occurs when these pouches become inflame...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Risks Risks of CT scans include:Being exposed to radiation Allergic reaction to contrast dye CT scans do expose you to more radiation than regular x-rays. Having many x-rays or CT scans over time may increase your risk of cancer. But the risk from any one scan is small. You and your provider should weigh this risk against the benefits of getting a correct diagnosis for a medical problem. Some people have allergies to contrast dye. Let your provider know if you have ever had an allergic reaction to injected contrast dye.The most common type of contrast given into a vein contains iodine. If a person with an iodine allergy is given this type of contrast, nausea or vomiting, sneezing, itching, or hives may occur. Nausea or vomitingNausea is feeling an urge to vomit. It is often called "being sick to your stomach. "Vomiting or throwing-up is forcing the contents of the stomach ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article SneezingA sneeze is a sudden, forceful, uncontrolled burst of air through the nose and mouth.Read Article Now Book Mark Article ItchingItching is a tingling or irritation of the skin that makes you want to scratch the area. Itching may occur all over the body or only in one location...Read Article Now Book Mark Article HivesHives are raised, often itchy, red bumps (welts) on the surface of the skin. They can be an allergic reaction to food or medicine. They can also ap...Read Article Now Book Mark Article If you absolutely must be given such contrast, you may be given antihistamines (such as Benadryl) or steroids before the test. The kidneys help remove iodine out of the body. Those with kidney disease or diabetes may need to receive extra fluids after the test to help flush the iodine out of the body. In rare cases, the dye causes a life-threatening allergic response called anaphylaxis. If you have any trouble breathing during the test, you should tell the scanner operator right away. Scanners come with an intercom and speakers, so the operator can hear you at all times.AnaphylaxisAnaphylaxis is a life-threatening type of allergic reaction.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Open ReferencesReferencesBishoff JT, Rastinehad AR. Urinary tract imaging: basic principles of CT, MRI, and plain film imaging. In: Partin AW, Dmochowski RR, Kavoussi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 3.Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. Computed tomography of the body (spiral [helical], electron beam [EBCT, ultrafast], high resolution [HRCT], 64-slice multidetector [MDCT]) - diagnostic. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:374-376.Herring W. Recognizing the normal abdomen and pelvis on computed tomography. In: Herring W, ed. Learning Radiology: Recognizing the Basics. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 14.Nicholas JR, Puskarich MA. Abdominal trauma. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 39.AllVideoImagesTog Tests for Pelvic CT scan Pelvic CT scanRelated Information Review Date: 1/1/2021 Reviewed By: Jason Levy, MD, Northside Radiology Associates, Atlanta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. 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