How is CT of the gallbladder done

CT scan of the gallbladder makes it possible to diagnose many organ diseases, including cholecystitis. But such a method for diagnosing diseases is not always completely informative, it is influenced by many different factors. This method of examining internal organs is carried out on an empty stomach.

In this case, computed tomography can be performed, and magnetic resonance imaging can also be prescribed, in which a contrast agent is injected into the patient to obtain more reliable information. With these methods, you can see the ducts and bladder during the procedure.

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The advantages and disadvantages of this examination method

CT scan of the gallbladder makes it possible to differentiate obstructive jaundice from its other types. Computed tomography of the gallbladder allows you to detect blockage of the bile ducts, accurately determine the place and provoking factor of this condition.

Also, CT of the gallbladder and bile ducts makes it possible to establish which calculi are in the organ cavity – containing calcium or cholesterol. Computed tomography of the gallbladder and MRI allows assessing the complications of gallstone disease.

Other positive aspects of the procedure include:

  • ease of passage,
  • the possibility of examining the bile for the presence of calculi using the introduction of contrast.

There are also disadvantages of this procedure, which include:

  • the price of a gallbladder diagnostic procedure with contrast is quite high, not every patient can afford,
  • the information content is not as great as when conducting an ultrasound examination,
  • the need to use X-rays,
  • lack of the ability to conduct for obese patients (since there are certain restrictions on the weight and size of the equipment).

This procedure is carried out in the case when it is impossible to conduct an ultrasound examination. CT is recommended for obese people, for those patients who have an anatomically high liver.

Indications and contraindications to conduct

There are many indications for such a study. One of them is painful sensations on the right under the rib, which are given to other parts of the body, with irritation of the internal organs of the abdominal cavity, in the presence of yellowness of the epidermis and eyeballs.

This diagnostic method is indicated for suspicion of such diseases:

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  • chronic cholecystitis,
  • inflammation of the gallbladder in the acute stage,
  • suspicion of the presence of various tumor processes,
  • the presence of dyskinesia of the bile ducts,
  • cholangitis of various genesis.

The most common pathological processes in the organ are cholelithiasis and cholecystitis. There are also certain contraindications to this procedure.

The main contraindications for this survey include:

  • severe general condition of the patient, which requires treatment in the intensive care unit,
  • period of bearing a child,
  • period of breastfeeding,
  • the patient’s fear of a confined space, which he is not able to overcome even for a few minutes.

How to prepare for conducting

No special preparation for CT scan of the gallbladder is required. You will need to prepare only if the procedure is carried out with the introduction of contrast. In this case, it will be necessary to exclude food intake 5-6 hours before the study, and the patient should also not have an allergic reaction to iodine and seafood, since the injected substance contains such components.

Before diagnostics, it will be necessary to temporarily remove all metal jewelry, since they can affect the interpretation of the examination results. A radiologist must first consult, he will tell you how to behave correctly when undergoing a tomography.

How is CT scan performed?

The duration of the technique does not exceed half an hour. The patient should lie on his back on the couch. Further, the upper part of the tomograph will move, while scanning the abdominal organs. The final stage is the decoding and recording of the test results.

Snapshot description

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CT of the gallbladder is deciphered immediately after the scan. Such a procedure is indicated if the ultrasound did not manage to recognize the presence of calculi or it does not show them in full. With the help of a tomograph, stones in the gallbladder are visible, gallstone disease of the biliary ducts is diagnosed.

When gallbladder cholecystitis is detected with contrast, it is possible to determine not only the size and shape of calculi. The density of stones is determined on CT of the gallbladder, which makes the results of the procedure more useful.

What does CT with contrast show?

In the presence of cholecystitis of the gallbladder with contrast, stones of a solid structure can be determined using a special scale. But the picture usually shows only those stones that contain calcium.

But if there are not calcifications, but formations of a different nature, the tomograph may not show them. The qualification of the specialist who will conduct the examination is also important. If the doctor is a professional, he is able to recognize not only stones, but also polyps in the organ cavity.

Also, this diagnostic method can be performed after a previously performed cholecystectomy. But for this, there must be certain indications: a long period of postoperative recovery, lack of positive dynamics in the establishment of the functions of the digestive system, any patient complaints and suspicion of the development of secondary cholecystitis.

With the help of computed tomography, a more reliable diagnosis can be made and, based on the results, the doctor will determine further methods of treatment – medical or surgical intervention. It must be remembered that this procedure is painless, there is no discomfort during its implementation. The only drawback is the high cost and the impossibility in some cases to carry it out.


How to get tested correctly. CT scan.

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Tatyana Jakowenko

Editor-in-chief of the Detonic online magazine, cardiologist Yakovenko-Plahotnaya Tatyana. Author of more than 950 scientific articles, including in foreign medical journals. He has been working as a cardiologist in a clinical hospital for over 12 years. He owns modern methods of diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and implements them in his professional activities. For example, it uses methods of resuscitation of the heart, decoding of ECG, functional tests, cyclic ergometry and knows echocardiography very well.

For 10 years, she has been an active participant in numerous medical symposia and workshops for doctors - families, therapists and cardiologists. He has many publications on a healthy lifestyle, diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular diseases.

He regularly monitors new publications of European and American cardiology journals, writes scientific articles, prepares reports at scientific conferences and participates in European cardiology congresses.