Computed Tomography Enterography
CT enterography is a special type of computed tomography (CT) imaging performed with intravenous contrast material after the patient ingests thin barium. This type of scan is unique because specialized 3D images of the small intestine are generated. Images can be viewed on a computer monitor and burned on a CD. The weight limit for most CT scanners is 350 pounds.
Preparing for CTE
Do not eat or drink anything for four hours before the procedure. Please inform the Colon Health Center scheduler (302-995-2656) if you are:
- Allergic to iodine (Premedication with prednisone and Benadryl is required)
- Diabetic, have kidney disease or are over age 60 (Lab work for kidney function is required within 30 days of test)
- Possibly pregnant (Pregnancy test is required)
What Happens before the CTE?
Please arrive one hour before test time. Please bring your insurance card. If you have any prior images of the abdomen or pelvis on a CD please bring it with you so that it can be compared with new study.
Prior to the procedure, you will be asked to drink several glasses of a liquid solution that contains a contrast material. The total amount of fluid will be approximately 1 to 1.5 liters. You will not be permitted to use the restroom once you start drinking. You will need to drink the contrast material over a period of one hour. Once you have finished drinking the contrast, the CT technologist will take you back to the CT room to insert an IV and prepare you for the scan.
What Happens during the CTE?
You may be asked to hold your breath during the scanning. Any motion, even breathing can lead to artifacts on the images. Loss of image quality can resemble the blurring seen on a photograph taken of a moving object. Though the scanning itself causes no pain, it may be somewhat uncomfortable to have to lie still for several minutes.
When the intravenous line is placed you will feel a pin prick as the needle is inserted into your vein. You will likely have a warm, flushed sensation during the injection of the contrast material and a metallic taste in your mouth that lasts for at most a minute or two. You may experience the feeling that you have to urinate; however, this is actually the contrast effect and subsides quickly. The CTE scan typically takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
What Happens after the CTE?
You will be able to return to normal activities following the CTE. It is recommended that you drink plenty of water to help flush the contrast material from your body.
A radiologist will analyze the images and send a signed report to your referring physician. Typically your doctor will notify you of the exam results within a week.
What Are the Possible Outcomes?
CTE is used to diagnose small bowel bleeding sources, tumors, abscesses, fistulas, bowel obstructions and Crohn’s disease. Typically your doctor will notify you of the exam results within a week.