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any CT scan experts here?

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by Ffolkes, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. Ffolkes

    Ffolkes

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    My back is acting up again, disk problem in an area of a previous injury maybe, I'm scheduled to get a CT scan in a few days. Last time i had one of these was 5 years ago and I was too doped up to ask, so now I'm asking, are there any downsides or concerns about getting this done?

    I'm also supposed to get a spine xray, should I space my radiation exposures out with a few days in between the scan and xray or does it matter?

    Thanks!
     
  2. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    If there's downsides, I'm a dead man. :). I've had so many of them its amazing I can't turn on lights just by standing near one. CAT's, MRI's, you name it, I've had it.

    I'd ask the Doc who is doing the CT scan(since it is first), tell him your concerns, and ask him if you should ask them to reschedule the X-ray. I've had CAT Scans and other tests in the same day, so I doubt it will be an issue.

    IGF
     

  3. ranger56528

    ranger56528

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    Dont think there would be any issues,I just did a MRI and Other neck X-Rays,have a ruptured c4 and a collapsed c7,get to have them pluged and fused and they are putting a plate in to cover c4,c5,c6,c7 being Ive had c5 and c6 fused already.Go in Weds to set up surgery date yee haa.........Not Grrrrrrrrrrr..........
     
  4. DWentz744

    DWentz744 Technoviking

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  5. RonS

    RonS Millennium Member

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    A little extra radiation is all that I know of.
     
  6. sleigo

    sleigo

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    You are nowhere close to the amount of radiation exposure, with your history, that would make another CT at all risky.
     
  7. AAshooter

    AAshooter

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    I would be more concerned with any dies or contrasts that they plan to use. They can be especially problematic if you react to them unfavorably.
     
  8. Cavalry Doc

    Cavalry Doc MAJ (USA Ret.)

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    First, I'm not sure why you would need a spine x-ray after a CT? I'd ask about that one before having it done, especially if you have to pay for it.

    Yes, there are concerns. The amount of radiation does add to the risk of future malignancy. Over lunch a couple of weeks ago, our chief of radiology stated that each CT you get raises your chance of a future malignancy by one in 2000, and it's cumulative.

    If it is a contrasted CT, and you are diabetic, and taking metformin, you need to stop taking it the day of the scan, and for a couple days afterward. You should also have a creatinine (blood test) drawn to evaluate your kidney function prior to a CT.

    Here is some good information.


    There is risk, but it's relatively small, and there is benefit. You're in more danger driving to and from the exam. They can be very helpful.
     
  9. AAshooter

    AAshooter

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    Probably a good summary.
     
  10. Half-Breed

    Half-Breed ..... CLM

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  11. Half-Breed

    Half-Breed ..... CLM

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  12. MrsKitty

    MrsKitty

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    I had a CT yesterday morning early. I vaguely remember it, or the rest of the morning, after the point where they gave me pain meds for the kidney stone that was hurting so bad. I've probably had 15 of them done on my kidneys, including four done in one day--two with contrast, two without, two on my back and two on my stomach.

    I'm having a MRI, MRA and MRV done tomorrow (unrelated to the kidney stone). They are going to be using contrast.

    The worst part of either is the stick (I'm a bad stick. I had two veins blow yesterday and my arm is freaky now). The next worst part is staying still. You will be told when to breathe and when to hold your breath.

    The CT should only take a few minutes and it's not bad physically. It's nothing like the tunnel for a MRI so you shouldn't be claustrophobic--I am going to have to be sedated tomorrow but a CT is a piece of cake.

    If you are allergic to shellfish, you can't do the normal contrast.
     
  13. Half-Breed

    Half-Breed ..... CLM

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  14. PicardMD

    PicardMD Make It So!!

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    This is NOT meant to be medical advices. Just some educational points

    1) Most insurance companies want a plain x-ray first before authorizing CT or MRI's unless your doctor can articulate why he/she wants to go directly to a CT or MRI. Plain x-rays are much, much cheaper. It also involves much less radiation (compared to CT). It, unfortunately, does not offer a great deal of details compared to CT or MRI.

    2) Not quite sure why your doctor chooses CT of your spine over MRI. MRI is a much more superior modality when we look at spines because much of the spine pathology can involve soft tissues rather than the actual bones. MRI is much better at soft tissues than CT's.

    3) If your doctor is only interested in the spine itself, IV contrast dyes are not needed for spine CT. On the other hand, if your doctor wants some soft tissue enhancements (ie looking for tumor), IV dye contrast is needed. IV contrast dye can harm the kidneys (contrast-induced nephropathy). In a diabetic, the chances of kidney harm with IV contrast dye can be as high as 40%. Again, if your doctor is interersted in soft tissues in addition to the actual bone images, I am wondering why he is choosing CT over MRI.

    4) CT of spine is much faster to do (minutes). MRI of the spine can take a long time to image (hours). MRI has the claustiphobia issue, especially if you are stuck in the "tube" for hours at the time.

    5) MRI can also involve "contrast" (Gadollinium). This is very different from the CT IV contrast dye. MRI contrast is generally beneigh, except for those with very advanced renal failure or on dialysis.

    6) Yes, CT involves quite a bit of radiation, and worries for future malignancy (cancers). The exact extent is very difficult to quantify and there have been only a handful of poorly done studies to quantifiy the radiation harm. It is generally accepted that of all the cancers people are diagnosed with, probably around 2% of them are "iatrogenic" -- meaning caused by other medical diagnostic or therapeutic manuvers done for other illnesses. And medical radiation exposure is likely one of the main culprits.

    Best wishes,

    P
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2010
  15. X-ray Dave

    X-ray Dave

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    What PicardMD said. Plain x-rays can be done with you standing, bending either side to side or forward /backward. This info can help your Doc determine if there is any movement/slipage.
    PM me if you end up needing a myelogrom or epidural injection.