Learn CT Today – Abdomen/Pelvis CT

Learn CT - Abdomen Pelvis CT

Learn CT Today – Learn how to perform an Abdomen/Pelvis CT exam – some of these instructions may vary depending on the equipment you are working on.

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Learn CT Today – Scanning the Abdomen/Pelvis

Learn CT – Abdomen / Pelvis CT images are screen shots from the Virtual CT Trainer Software causing some degrading in the image quality.


Exam Prep:

  • When scanning the abdomen/pelvis, attach the foot holder and position the patient supine, feet first in the scanner.
  • NOTE: This exam can be done either feet first or headfirst but is typically done feet first.
  • A routine Abdomen/Pelvis is done with oral and IV contrast in most cases. If ordered with oral contrast, have the patient drink the contrast over a one (1) hour period (may vary at your facility). In Most cases the ER will not want to wait for oral contrast.
Learn CT - Abdomen Pelvis Computed Tomography 1

Learn CT – Positioning the Patient:

  • Position the patient on the table and center the patient at the level just above the diaphragm or just above the xiphoid process in the gantry, using the laser lights.
  • Adjust the table height to center the horizontal laser light midway between the anterior and posterior aspect of the abdominal cavity.
  • Turn off the positioning light
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Learn CT - Abdomen Pelvis Computed Tomography 3

Learn CT – Scanning Scout Images:

  • When the patient is properly positioned – Press the confirm button
  • Prep the scanner (Scan button will be solid or a flashing light – depends on manufacture)
  • Scan your AP & Lateral scout images – Some manufacturers will require the patient to move back into the gantry to scan the second scout and some will move the patient back into the scanner as it acquires the second scout.
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Adjusting Your Lines or Box to Cover Desired Anatomy:

  • Adjust the lines or box to cover the anatomy to be scanned (lines or box depends on CT manufacture).
  • When scanning the abdomen/pelvis, scan from just above the diaphragm down through the pubic symphysis.
  • If the patient is having groin pain or has a groin abscess – Scan beyond the pubic symphysis to cover the anatomy of concern.
  • When the lines or box are positioned over the desired anatomy, press the confirm button.
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Abdomen Only

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Learn CT - Abdomen Pelvis Computed Tomography 7

Pelvis Only

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Learn CT – Scanning the Patient:

  • Select the proper injector protocol and arm the injector. Your facility may have injector protocols set for different exams. If you have preset protocols, select the Abdomen protocol. If there are no preset protocols then set your injection rate at 2.5 ml/sec (could vary at your facility).
  • Injection rate for the abdomen/pelvis is 2.0 – 2.5 ml/sec. 70 sec delay.
  • Set your scan delay time at 70 seconds if not built into the Abdomen / Pelvis CT Protocol.
  • When you have your scan area covering the needed anatomy from above the liver dome, through the pubic symphysis and you have your injector rate and delay time set – Push the injector start button and the scan button at the same time to start the scan.
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Completing the Exam:

  • Look through your images to verify you have all of the anatomy that is needed and no additional imaging is needed. Remove the IV if placed by you and help the patient off of the scanner table.
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Source of Header Image – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CT_of_a_normal_abdomen_and_pelvis,_axial_plane_198.png