Preparing for Your CT/CAT Exam

Preparing for your CT Exam

Patients are requested to wear loose comfortable clothing for CT imaging. Patients may be asked to wear a gown for the examination as well. Metallic objects such as jewelry, glasses, hearing aids, piercings, dental devices and metal containing bras may affect the quality of CT imaging. Patients may be asked to remove these items prior to imaging.

Patients may also be asked not to eat or drink anything for several hours prior to the scan if contrast material is to be utilized. Patients should also inform technologists of any medications they are taking, any allergies to radiology contrast material and of any significant medical condition such as hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease, as these conditions may predispose patients to adverse reactions to contrast.

Women should also inform the technologist if there is any possibility of pregnancy.

In General:

  • Please plan on showing up 15 minutes prior to scheduled exam unless you need to have an abdomen and pelvis CT (see below), then plan on showing up 1 hr prior to the exam time
  • Expect the scan to take approximately 15 minutes
  • Results will be given to the ordering physicians office within 24 hrs

Specific examples of common preparations are as follows:

  • Fasting (NPO – nothing by mouth) after midnight or NPO 8 hrs if scan is later in afternoon
    • Abdomen and Pelvis CT – Please show up 1 hour prior to exam as the technologist will have 32oz of contrast for you to drink prior to the scan

Download a PDF of this information.