A CT (computerized tomography) scan, also known as a CAT scan, is an x-ray procedure that combines many x-ray images with the aid of a computer to generate cross-sectional views and, if necessary, three-dimensional images of the internal organs and structures of the body. The test is extremely valuable in examining the type and extent of kidney disorders, such as masses, stones and cysts.
What to expect:
A large, donut-shaped x-ray machine will take images at several different angles around your body. These images are processed by a computer to produce cross-sectional pictures. Often, an intravenous contrast (or x-ray dye, an iodine-based liquid given in the vein) is used to make organs and structures, such as the kidneys and blood vessels, much more visible.
If you are allergic to intravenous contrast, tell the CT technologist prior to the CT scan. If a CT scan of the abdomen or pelvis is ordered, oral contrast is usually given to help opacify the bowel.