The kidneys perform a filtering function in the body, purifying the blood from waste products. In case of violations in their work, serious health problems arise. The first symptoms of the disease cannot be ignored. Various modern methods are used to diagnose the disease. For example, computed tomography.
Computed tomography (CT) of the kidneys – what is it
There are many methods for diagnosing kidney: ultrasound, urinalysis, X-ray, computed tomography. The last version of the survey gives the most accurate result. It allows you to consider all the structural features of the organ, to identify pathological changes even at an early stage.
Computed tomography of the kidneys is a modern diagnostic method that uses X-rays and computer processing to obtain an image of the kidneys. The bottom line is that many layer-by-layer images of the organ under study are taken.
CT is considered to be more informative than conventional x-rays. The picture comes out clear and accurate. During the examination, X-rays move around the body. The computer records all changes in their energy. After processing the information, a two-dimensional image is displayed on the monitor.
Computed tomography of the kidneys shows the shape of the organ. Deformation can indicate a serious pathology. CT also detects renal cysts, which are formations with thin walls and clear boundaries. The method is also informative for the diagnosis of neoplasms, including malignant tumors.
The study shows the size of the formation, its nature, the presence of necrosis and hemorrhage. In the picture, the specialist is able to see polycystic disease, obstruction of the urinary tract, abnormal accumulation of fluid. All this allows you to establish the cause of the patient’s poor health.
Computed tomography is represented by the following types:
- Standard. It is performed without additional administration of a special contrast agent.
- Multispiral. It is carried out on a multispiral apparatus. The equipment produces a 3D image of the organ. Diagnostics takes a short amount of time. The patient receives minimal radiation exposure.
- Spiral. Conducted using contrast. For several seconds, the structures of the organ are examined in layers.
Indications and contraindications
Computed tomography of the kidneys is used for the primary diagnosis of various pathologies.
The reasons for the appointment of the procedure are the following patient complaints:
- Pain of any kind in the lumbar region.
- Edema of varying degrees.
- Presence of kidney injury.
- Signs of intoxication (weakness, fever),
- High pressure.
- Violation of urination.
The indication for CT of the kidneys is a recent operation on the organ under study.
Computed tomography is prohibited during pregnancy and lactation.
The procedure is contraindicated for:
- Severe diabetes mellitus.
- Overweight (over 140 kilograms)
- The presence of metal structures in the body.
- Poor general health.
When performing CT without contrast, side effects do not occur. But if such a substance is used, allergic reactions to individual components are possible.
It is prohibited to inject a contrast agent when:
- Allergies to barium, iodine.
- Lack of kidney function.
- High levels of creatinine and urea in the blood.
- Thyroid pathologies.
- Cardiovascular disorders.
How is the
Computed tomography of the kidneys is a painless procedure. It takes very little time. For carrying out the apparatus is used – a tomograph. The equipment works on the basis of X-rays. The degree of radiation is small, therefore it is safe for human health.
For diagnosis, the patient needs to undress to his underwear, remove all metal objects (piercings, hairpins, removable rhinestones, chains), put on a dressing gown and lie on a special table. You should lie in a supine position, motionless.
Sometimes the specialist asks you to roll over on your side. If it is difficult for a person to maintain immobility, then he is additionally fixed with belts. The table is placed in the tunnel of the tomography equipment.
During the procedure, the doctor is in the next room with a monitor. A picture of the scanned organ is immediately displayed on the computer screen. All pathological changes are visible on it. But to obtain the most complete information about the state of the kidneys, a decoding is needed.
Although the patient and the doctor are in separate rooms, if necessary, they can communicate using a microphone and speaker. If the patient becomes ill, he should inform the specialist about it. Then the procedure is completed ahead of time. During a CT scan, a person can notice the crackling of the apparatus, hear the rotation of parts.
Sometimes the doctor decides that it will be more effective to perform CT with a contrast agent. This is necessary if you want to examine the vessels of the kidneys. The patient is injected intravenously before the procedure.
A person may taste a metallic or salty taste in their mouth. Mild headache is rare. Further, the study is carried out according to the scheme described above.
Results and their interpretation
The parenchyma of the kidney in a normal state has a density greater than that of the liver, but less than that of bone tissue. On the tomogram, it is colored white. The density of the collecting ducts should be low. After the introduction of contrast, this parameter increases slightly, the tubes become lighter.
The location of the organ is determined on the basis of adjacent formations. The size and shape of the kidneys are revealed by reading sections between the upper and lower pole, delineating the contours of the kidneys.
If there is any formation in the organ, it will stand out in the image with a density different from the parenchyma. The shape of the kidney may also change. So, if there is a malignant tumor, its boundaries will be indistinct, and the structure is heterogeneous.
Neoplasms with areas of necrosis and hemorrhage usually have a high density. The density of the cysts in the image is less than that of the unchanged parenchyma.
The pictures are deciphered by a specialist conducting diagnostics. He immediately communicates the preliminary results to the patient. The doctor describes more detailed information in the conclusion. Together with the results of the study, the person is given pictures in printed or electronic form.
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