The small intestine is an area of the digestive system that is difficult to reach with any other method. We endeavor to fill the entire length of the small intestine with contrast material administered by mouth. This allows us to evaluate dilatation or possible narrowing, their exact location and length. With contrast material administered intravenously, any intestinal wall abnormalities can be specified, the organs falling within their region examined and various inflammatory changes and tumors and the narrowing caused thereby observed. The effect that diseases of the small intestine has on its surroundings and on neighboring organs can be examined and paths created by inflammatory diseases and enlarged lymph nodes be observed.
No special preparation is required, only that you do need to come on an empty stomach on the day of your CT scan. If intravenous contrast material is to be administered, certain diabetes medicines should not be taken, thus, it is important that you consult with your doctor beforehand. In any event, it is best to come prepared for contrast material.
The examination takes about 2½-3 hours, since any longer would require you to periodically continue drinking liquids (the CT assistant will provide details instructions). The CT examination follows, prepared with the help of x-rays. One series of images is prepared with and one without contrast material. A series of even thinner slices may be prepared of these and then 2D reconstruction.
The patient is not allowed to or is unable to drink a large amount of liquids (2 liters) or is allergic to the intravenous contrast material. CT scans are performed without contrast only at special indications since the results are of limited value.