Computed Tomography Enterography (CTE)

Overview: The Basics

Computer tomography enterography (CTE) is a type of computed tomography medical test that helps diagnose certain gastrointestinal diseases in the small intestine, sometimes referred to as the small bowel. CTE is a noninvasive imaging exam.

What to Expect: During the Screening

Similar to a computed tomography (CT) scan, a CTE requires you to lay on a narrow table that will be moved into the CT scanner.

You will be given an IV and contrast material will be injected into your body to ensure the images will be clear. You will be instructed to lie as still as possible during the duration of the exam. You may need to hold your breath periodically to avoid blurry images.

The CTE should take 10 to 15 minutes to complete.

What can be found?

CTE is used to assess and evaluate small bowel inflammation, bleeding sources in the small bowel, small bowel tumors, abscesses and fistulas and bowel obstructions.

CTE is also used to help diagnose Crohn’s disease.

What happens afterwards?

You should be able to return to normal activities following your CTE. It may be recommended that you drink plenty of water to help flush the contrast material from your body.

How to Prepare

Do not eat or drink anything except clear liquids for three hours before the exam. You will be instructed to arrive approximately one hour and 15 minutes before your CTE in order to drink an oral contrast material.

Before the CTE, speak with your doctor about whether you may be pregnant, or if you have a chronic illness such as diabetes.