Indication/Technique

Please see the X-ray/CT Technique class for additional information about the technique of ‘computer tomography’ (CT). Abdominal CT scans are generally evaluated in the transversal direction; the patient is seen from the feet upward as it were. The abdomen can also be viewed in the coronal and sagittal directions (fig. 1).

Normal abdominal CT in the transversal, coronal and sagittal directions.

Figure 1. Normal abdominal CT in the transversal, coronal and sagittal directions.

Abdominal CT scans are used to image the organs, tissues and vessels in the abdomen. The indication for this examination is very important. Based on the indication, it is determined whether the examination is performed with oral, rectal or intravenous contrast. Additionally, when performing a CT scan with intravenous contrast agent, the phase(s) in which the scan is made is also relevant.