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HomeHealthCan A Ct Scan Without Contrast Detect Kidney Cancer

Can A Ct Scan Without Contrast Detect Kidney Cancer

Reasons For The Procedure

Low Dose CT Scan to Detect Kidney Stones

A CT scan of the kidney may be performed to assess the kidneys for tumors and other lesions, obstructions such as kidney stones, abscesses, polycystic kidney disease, and congenital anomalies, particularly when another type of examination, such as x-rays or physical examination, is not conclusive. CT scans of the kidney may be used to evaluate the retroperitoneum . CT scans of the kidney may be used to assist in needle placement in kidney biopsies.

After the removal of a kidney, CT scans may be used to locate abnormal masses in the empty space where the kidney once was. CT scans of the kidneys may be performed after kidney transplants to evaluate the size and location of the new kidney in relation to the bladder.

There may be other reasons for your physician to recommend a CT scan of the kidney.

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Diatrizoic Acid

  • Diatrizoic acid is used in place of barium when a patient is allergic to barium or when there is a chance the intestines or stomach have been perforated. It is not as thick as barium sulfate, but it has an unpleasant taste that may be slightly masked with flavoring.
  • Gastrografin will be given a few hours before the exam or, if delivered rectally, right before the exam.

What Are The Symptoms Of Kidney Cancer

In many cases, people may have no early symptoms of kidney cancer. As the tumor grows larger, symptoms may appear. You may have one or more of these kidney cancer symptoms:

  • Swelling in your ankles or legs

Kidney cancer that spreads to other parts of your body may cause other symptoms, such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Bone pain

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What Is Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer — also called renal cancer — is a disease in which kidney cells become malignant and grow out of control, forming a tumor. Almost all kidney cancers first appear in the lining of tiny tubes in the kidney. This type of kidney cancer is called renal cell carcinoma. The good news is that most kidney cancers are found before they spread to distant organs. And cancers caught early are easier to treat successfully. However, these tumors can grow to be quite large before they are detected.

The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They lie in your lower abdomen on each side of your spine. Their main job is to clean your blood, removing waste products and making urine.

Doctors don’t know the causes of kidney cancer. But certain factors appear to increase the risk of getting kidney cancer. For example, kidney cancer occurs most often in people older than age 40. These are some other risk factors for kidney cancer:

Having these risk factors does not mean you will get kidney cancer. And it’s also true that you can have none of them and still get the disease.

Preparation For A Ct Scan

CT Scan of the Abdomen and Pelvis

Some CT scans need special preparation beforehand.

For most scans, you have a drink or an injection of contrast medium, or both. This is a dye that shows up body tissues more clearly on the scan. You have the injection through a small thin tube in your arm. The tube is left in place until after your scan, in case you have any problems after having the injection.

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What To Expect With Bladder Ultrasounds

Ultrasounds are typically outpatient procedures and usually take 2030 minutes to complete.

Preparation is often not required ahead of an ultrasound, however, in some instances the patient will be asked to take a laxative, use an enema, or not to eat before the test. Some patients having an abdominal ultrasound may be required to drink a large amount of water so that the bladder is filled, which will improve the quality of the images.

During a bladder ultrasound, the individual is often lying down while the probe is passed over the skins surface. A lubricating gel is administered to the skin which helps the sound waves conduct.

Notably, ultrasound is a safe procedure with a low risk of side effects.

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Risk Factors And Symptoms

Risk factors for all kidney cancers include smoking, being overweight, having high blood pressure, and being exposed to toxic substances, such as asbestos and cadmium. Being on long-term dialysis, a treatment for kidney failure that involves removing harmful substances from the blood, can also raise the risk. A family history of kidney cancer and rare genetic syndromes such as von HippelLindau disease, hereditary papillary renal cell carcinoma, and BirtHoggDubé syndrome also increase risk.

In the past, kidney cancer was only discovered when people experienced common symptoms such as blood in the urine, a pain or lump in the side or lower back, fatigue, a loss of appetite, and weight loss. In recent years, however, imaging tests conducted for unrelated health conditions detect up to 67 percent of kidney tumors before symptoms start. Earlier detection of kidney tumors increases the likelihood that they can be managed with surgery.

To diagnose the condition, your doctor asks about your medical history and any symptoms you may be experiencing. Then, NYU Langone doctors may perform several different tests.

What Else Should I Know About A Ct Scan

What am I missing on a noncontrast CT?
  • Although a CT scan is sometimes described as a slice or a cross-section, no cutting is involved.
  • The amount of radiation you get during a CT scan is a good deal more than that with a standard x-ray.
  • People who are very overweight may have trouble fitting into the CT scanner.
  • Be sure to tell your doctor if you have any allergies or are sensitive to iodine, seafood, or contrast dyes.
  • Tell your doctor if you could be pregnant or are breastfeeding.
  • CT scans can cost up to 10 times as much as a standard x-ray. You may want to be sure your health insurance will cover this test before you have it.

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Localized Cystic Renal Disease

Localized cystic renal disease is a rare, nonhereditary, form of cystic renal disease, which manifests as a conglomeration of multiple simple cysts of variable size . In contrast to ACKD and ADPKD, localized cystic renal disease is typically unilateral and not progressive. The disease usually involves only a portion of the kidney with a polar predilection . Entire renal involvement is rare . The contralateral kidney is normal. The presence of interposed normal renal parenchyma and the absence of a capsule help to differentiate localized cystic renal disease from cystic nephroma and multiloculated cystic RCC . Cystic involvement of other organs is typically absent .

Fig. 13

Localized cystic renal disease. Axial contrast-enhanced CT image shows a conglomeration of multiple simple cysts of variable size in the right kidney

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How Does The Procedure Work

In many ways, a CT scan works like other x-ray exams. Different body parts absorb x-rays in different amounts. This difference allows the doctor to distinguish body parts from one another on an x-ray or CT image.

A conventional x-ray exam directs a small amount of radiation through the body part under examination. A special electronic image recording plate captures the image. Bones appear white on the x-ray. Soft tissue, such as the heart or liver, shows up in shades of gray. Air appears black.

With CT scanning, several x-ray beams and electronic x-ray detectors rotate around you. These measure the amount of radiation being absorbed throughout your body. Sometimes, the exam table will move during the scan. A special computer program processes this large volume of data to create two-dimensional cross-sectional images of your body. The system displays the images on a computer monitor. CT imaging is sometimes compared to looking into a loaf of bread by cutting the loaf into thin slices. When the computer software reassembles the image slices, the result is a very detailed multidimensional view of the body’s interior.

Nearly all CT scanners can obtain multiple slices in a single rotation. These multi-slice CT scanners obtain thinner slices in less time. This results in more detail.

For children, the radiologist will adjust the CT scanner technique to their size and the area of interest to reduce the radiation dose.

What Happens During A Ct Scan

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CT scans may be performed on an outpatient basis or as part of yourstay in a hospital. Procedures may vary depending on your condition andyour physician’s practices.

Generally, a CT scan follows this process:

  • You may be asked to change into a patient gown. If so, a gown will be provided for you. A locked will be provided to secure all personal belongings. Please remove all piercings and leave all jewelry and valuables at home.

  • If you are to have a procedure done with contrast, an intravenous line will be started in the hand or arm for injection of the contrast media. For oral contrast, you will be given a liquid contrast preparation to swallow. In some situations, the contrast may be given rectally.

  • You will lie on a scan table that slides into a large, circular opening of the scanning machine. Pillows and straps may be used to prevent movement during the procedure.

  • The technologist will be in another room where the scanner controls are located. However, you will be in constant sight of the technologist through a window. Speakers inside the scanner will enable the technologist to communicate with and hear you. You may have a call button so that you can let the technologist know if you have any problems during the procedure. The technologist will be watching you at all times and will be in constant communication.

  • As the scanner begins to rotate around you, X-rays will pass through the body for short amounts of time. You will hear clicking sounds, which are normal.

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    Why Won’t The Ct Tech Give Me The Results Of My Scan

    Many patients get frustrated with x-ray, CT, and other technicians because the techs will not tell the patients what the images reveal. There is a reason for this. Technicians are not trained to diagnose medical diseases or conditions they are trained to use imaging equipment properly to obtain diagnostic-quality images.

    While technicians are in fact able to identify many diseases and conditions, they are forbidden to discuss what they see with the patient. Only a doctor with many years of training should look at the images to make a diagnosis.

    The images will be read by a radiologist, who will make a diagnosis. Your doctor will be notified, usually within 48 hours, and you will be contacted with the results. If the radiologist sees a condition that could be life-threatening, the reporting process will be much faster.

    What Are The Possible Complications And Side Effects Of A Ct Scan

    Some people react to the contrast dye. Possible reactions include:

    • Rash
    • Shortness of breath
    • Itching or facial swelling that can last up to an hour

    These symptoms usually are mild and most often go away on their own. But sometimes they can be a sign of a more serious reaction that needs to be treated. Be sure to let your radiology technologist and your health care team know if you notice any changes after getting the contrast dye.

    In rare cases, people can have a severe allergic reaction that causes low blood pressure or trouble breathing. This must be treated right away.

    The IV contrast dye can also cause kidney problems. This is rare, and its more common in someone whose kidneys already dont work well. If you need a scan with contrast dye, your doctor may first do a blood test to check your kidney function. You may also get extra fluids in an IV or medicines to help your kidneys get rid of the dye safely.

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    What Do Your Symptoms Mean Should You Worry

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    How many days can you skip blood pressure medication Google docs calendar template 2021 free Can a ct scan without contrast detect colon cancer

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    Things To Discuss With A Doctor

    Contrast or non-contrast CT? Which one to order?

    If a person is experiencing any urinary tract symptoms, they should contact a doctor for advice.

    Without treatment, urinary tract symptoms can cause severe health issues. Likewise, untreated kidney infections can lead to problems such as kidney disease, high blood pressure, or kidney failure.

    UTIs during pregnancy can also be dangerous for both the pregnant person and the fetus.

    If kidney stones remain untreated, they can block the urinary tubes, which increases the risk of infection and can put a strain on the kidneys.

    If a doctor recommends a CT urogram and the person has any concerns about the procedure, they should discuss the possibility of having a mild sedative. Mild sedation can help alleviate anxiety and any feelings of claustrophobia during the procedure.

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    Why You Might Have A Ct Scan

    You might have a CT scan:

    • to diagnose a range of conditions including cancer
    • to help work out where the cancer is, how close it is to nearby organs and how big it is – this can help your doctors decide about whether you need further tests or what treatment you need
    • to check how well treatment is working
    • as part of your follow up after treatment

    What Does The Ct Equipment Look Like

    The CT scanner is typically a large, donut-shaped machine with a short tunnel in the center. You will lie on a narrow table that slides in and out of this short tunnel. Rotating around you, the x-ray tube and electronic x-ray detectors are located opposite each other in a ring, called a gantry. The computer workstation that processes the imaging information is in a separate control room. This is where the technologist operates the scanner and monitors your exam in direct visual contact. The technologist will be able to hear and talk to you using a speaker and microphone.

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    What Will I Experience During And After The Procedure

    CT exams are generally painless, fast, and easy. Multidetector CT reduces the amount of time that the patient needs to lie still.

    Though the scan is painless, you may have some discomfort from remaining still for several minutes or from placement of an IV. If you have a hard time staying still, are very nervous, anxious, or in pain, you may find a CT exam stressful. The technologist or nurse, under the direction of a doctor, may offer you some medication to help you tolerate the CT exam.

    If the exam uses iodinated contrast material, your doctor will screen you for chronic or acute kidney disease. The doctor may administer contrast material intravenously , so you will feel a pin prick when the nurse inserts the needle into your vein. You may feel warm or flushed as the contrast is injected. You also may have a metallic taste in your mouth. This will pass. You may feel a need to urinate. However, these are only side effects of the contrast injection, and they subside quickly.

    If you swallow oral contrast material, you may find the taste mildly unpleasant. However, most patients can easily tolerate it. If you receive an enema, you can expect to experience a sense of abdominal fullness. You may also feel an increasing need to expel the liquid. If so, be patient the mild discomfort will not last long.

    Many patients also receive an iodine-based contrast material intravenously to help evaluate blood vessels and organs such as the liver, kidneys, and pancreas.


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