Practice Question # 554.
Thoracic CT (computed tomography) is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create cross-sectional pictures of the chest and upper abdomen.
How to Prepare for the Test
Some people have allergies to IV contrast and may need to take medications before their test to safely receive this substance.
Contrast can be given in several ways, depending on the type of CT being performed.
- It may be delivered through a vein (IV) in your hand or forearm.
- It may be given through the rectum using an enema.
- You might drink the contrast before your scan. When you actually drink the contrast depends on the type of exam being done. The contrast liquid may taste chalky, although some are flavored to make them taste a little better. The contrast eventually passes out of your body through your stool.
If contrast is used, you may also be asked not to eat or drink anything for 4 to 6 hours before the test.
If you weigh more than 300 pounds, have your doctor contact the scanner operator before the exam. CT scanners have a weight limit. Too much weight can damage the scanner’s working parts.
Because it is hard for x-rays to pass through metal, you will be asked to remove jewelry and wear a hospital gown during the study.