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? about CT scans - contrast vs non-contrast ? about CT scans - contrast vs non-contrast

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  #1  
Unread 07-11-2010, 05:10 PM
? about CT scans - contrast vs non-contrast

I would like to hear your experiences with CT scans finding lesions/masses/cysts and if they used contrast or non-contrast. I know that ultrasound is better and hopefully that will be done soon. It is just that the docs were using ct for another reason when they discovered a nodule and lesion. You can read my other post if you want the details....warning that it is long! ;p

I haven't been able to find much information on ct scans being over-read or under read due to contrast/non-contrast issues. I understand the radiologist and the hospital can make a big difference. My two scans were at two different locations and read by two different radiologists.

I was told it will be hard to compare the contrast scan to the non-contrast scan. Why? Can something show up on non-contrast that wouldn't on contrast or vice-versa. In my case the non-contrast CT showed a lung nodule and a solid lesion adnexal (BSO in 2007) and the contrast (barium and iv) that was done 7 weeks earlier showed neither.

Just wondering how the contrast issue fits in with seeing things that may not be there....

Also, when you have follow up cts to watch for any new growth are they contrast or non?

Thanks!

Liann
  #2  
Unread 07-11-2010, 07:00 PM
Re: ? about CT scans - contrast vs non-contrast

With a contrast scan, more things would show up and possibly with better detail.
Who reads the scan can also make a difference. I have been getting the images on disk to take to whatever doctor may request it.
  #3  
Unread 07-11-2010, 07:34 PM
Re: ? about CT scans - contrast vs non-contrast

On a non-contrast would things show up that don't exist? That's kind of my big question because the lung nodule and the solid lesion adnexal showed up on non-contrast 7 weeks after a contrast ct showed nothing. Or could they be be something insignificant, but look significant (solid) because there isn't good definition without contrast?

Could be the reading missing them from the first time though or the radiologist thought they were nothing worth noting. However the first ct mentioned a kidney cyst, which was insignificant and most everyone has them, so why wouldn't significant findings be mentioned?

Guess I just need to be patient! lol My big question is did these things grow in 7 weeks.....I'll have my answer soon enough. Maybe God is trying to teach me patience!

Thanks!

Liann
  #4  
Unread 07-12-2010, 02:27 AM
Re: ? about CT scans - contrast vs non-contrast

Liann:
My gyn/onc does contrast and no contrast at all of my ct scans. Like I said on your other post, sometimes the radiologists seem to go into more detail than others do. Why? I don't have an answer. Maybe it is a slow day... Maybe they are just more detail oriented. And it is possible that something did just show up...Although that kind of growth in 7 wks is unusual... Hang in there... you will get some answers soon.
  #5  
Unread 07-12-2010, 11:38 AM
Re: ? about CT scans - contrast vs non-contrast

Liann, I have had several CT scans, the first one in the ER and I drank a cold liquid and waited about an hr. before they did the scan. It showed a cyst on ovary, that was the start of my journey with cancer. Anyway, since then I have had to drink a white liquid at home and report for scans and always had to have the IV. I think this is the best method to show "things", what does non contrast consist of? Wishing you the best, not sure this was any help -but just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you and hope you get the answers you need.
  #6  
Unread 07-13-2010, 02:24 AM
Re: ? about CT scans - contrast vs non-contrast

Janlar:
I do the same thing, but at my sessions, they run me thru the scan (no contrast) and then start the IV (contrast) and run me thru again.
On the cd the one that is without contrast shows up like a normal negative, the one with contrast has a whiter hue to it... not sure why things show up on one and not the other in better detail.
  #7  
Unread 07-22-2010, 10:26 PM
Re: ? about CT scans - contrast vs non-contrast

Well....I took the cd films from May to the radiologist who did the second set of scans in June. Here is his Report Addendum:

Comparison films are now available dated May.....from.....hospital....On these CT images the pelvis has a similar appearance 3 cm solid lesion in the left adnexal region is again noted. This may be residual area of scarring, possibly a portion of remaining broad ligament in this patient who is status post hysterectomy. Residual ovary is felt to be unlikely in this patient who is reportedly status post complete hysterectomy. Stability is reassuring that this is likely a benign process. Six month followup may be useful to document continued stability.

Left lung base nodule is also unchanged but continues to need followup imaging in six months.

So, they were there seven weeks earlier, but not mentioned. Apparently the radiologist from June was more thorough than the one in my small town in May. How was that not mentioned I don't know. I don't know how much stability only 7 weeks proves, but it is good there was no growth noted there.

There is more that has happened, but I will post that on my regular thread with all the info. on what is going on. I just wanted to address the ct issue that I brought up here. Apparently it didn't matter which had contrast or non-contrast, but was a matter of how the radiologist read the films. Interesting.

Liann
  #8  
Unread 07-22-2010, 10:45 PM
Re: ? about CT scans - contrast vs non-contrast

Hello ladies
I am an xray technologist--The reason why contrast is used is bc it "highlights" the area of intrest. This works bc the contrast is of a higher density and xray can not penatrate the contrast. The non contrast study is done 1st bc they like to see the structures prior to introducing the contrast but there is very little detail.

The difference in the findings varies based on the Radiologist--There are some great ones (like the 1 I have the privilege of working with ) and there are really bad ones. I have worked with Radiologists that read a image in a few sentences and the same image read by another that has a few paragraphs. The Radiologist really does make the difference of a report and a GREAT report.

Best wishes to all of you

  #9  
Unread 07-25-2010, 08:39 AM
Re: ? about CT scans - contrast vs non-contrast

When I had the pelvic/abdominal CT they first did the CT without contrast, then gave me some shot with the contrast, waited a few minutes and did the test again.

I was sent to one specific radiologist by my gyn-onc too (she's also the one who does all my follow up ultrasounds - no techs, no replacement docs, only her). I do think the radiologist's knowledge and skills makes a difference, mine is a gyn expert.
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