What is CT Abdomen?

Abdominal CT scan is an examination of the structure of the abdomen (abdominal cavity together with its contents) and its surroundings. The abdominal CT scan examination can give more accurate information regarding the structure of tissues and abdomen. Most abdominal CT examination require the injection of contrast media. (For further information on contrast media please refer to the CT Scan Examination).

How and where can I get this examination?

This examination can only be requested by a specialist at hospitals that do provide the CT scan examination.

When is the CT scan Abdomen examination required?

The CT scan Abdomen examination is required to identify the following:

  • The cause of abdominal pain or swelling in the abdomen and surrounding area
  • Calculus/ Stones in the kidney and bladder
  • Prior to surgery
  • Inflamasi apendiks
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Injury
  • Cancer


Figure 1 : CT Scan

Source : http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/1088.htm

Before the CT Scan Abdomen examination

  • The radiographer will explain the examination prior to carrying it out.
  • Please do inform to the radiographer if you are
    • Pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant.
    • Allergic to any food, medication or have asthma.
  • If the examination requires the use of contrast medium, a few of these instructions must be adhered to such as:
    • You have to be fasting 4 – 6 hours before the examination.
    • Take the steroids 12 hours before and 2 hours before the examination.
  • You have to wear the hospital gown that is provided.
  • You may have to drink diluted contrast medium twice every 30 minutes before the examination.
  • Following this, just before the CT scan examination, contrast medium will be injected into the blood vessel by the doctor.

During the CT Scan Abdomen examination

  • You will be required to lie down on the CT scan examination couch.
  • The radiographer will position you to ensure that you body is aligned and straight and in the right position.
  • During the scanning, you will be able to comminucate with the radiographer via intercom.
  • You are required to not move during the whole scanning process to ensure the image quality is not affected and also to avoid repeat examination.
  • If you have to undergo contrasted CT scan abdomen examination, you may experience discomfort especially after the contrast media is injected into your blood vessel as you may experience a warm sensation, nausea and others. However these symptoms are only temporary.

After the CT Scan Abdomen examination

  • For those of you who have undergone the CT abdomen contrasted examination, you are adviced to drink lots of water. By doing so, it flushes out the contrast out of your body through the urinary tract.
  • Ensure that you are feeling stable and comfortable before returning home.
  • If you do experience any uneasiness or discomfort, please do alert the radiographer of this.

CT Abdomen Report:

  • All images are scrutined by the radiologist and following this the report is prepared.


  1. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/imagepages/1088.htm
  2. Abdominal CT Scan (n.d.) Harvard Health Publications. Retrieved May 11, 2012, from http://www.health.harvard.edu/diagnostic-tests/abdominal-ct-scan.htm
  3. Computed Tomography (CT) – Abdomen and Pelvis. (2011, August 19). RadiologyInfo.org. Retrieved May 11, 2012, from www.radiologyinfo.org/en/pdf/abdominct.pdf
  4. CT Scan of the Abdomen. (2011) Aurora Health Care. Retrieved on May 11, 2012, from www.aurorahealthcare.org/yourhealth/healthgate/getcontent.asp?URLhealthgate=%2214799.html%22


Last Review : 3 July 2017
Writer : Pushpa Thevi Rajendran
Accreditor : Daud bin Ismail