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CT SCAN without contrast

Posted 23 May 2022 at 07:04

Can a CT scan without contrast 
see Metastasis

Regards Barry

Posted 23 May 2022 at 09:43

Barry, my psa is 1.4, I had a CT and bone scan two weeks ago both "with" contrast and they didn't see anything of interest. I am now awaiting an appointment for a PSMA scan.

Thanks Chris


Posted 23 May 2022 at 10:16

CT scans just show organ shapes and densities. They don't light up a special colour or anything like that for mets (unlike PSMA PET/CT scans, which do). Mets are therefore identified in CT scans by misshapen organs, or unexpected density changes in organs. Some organs don't show up well in CT scans, and if they're particularly looking at those, then a contrast can help to show up things like blood vessels, which often grow differently in tumours.

So I think the answer is, it depends why they're doing the CT scan. Bones show up really well on CT scans and probably don't need contrast, whereas some soft organs would. However, I don't know this area very well.

Posted 23 May 2022 at 15:25
The contrast enhances scans but is only given if thought will be helpful. It is usually Iodine based for CT scans and I don't know about possible long term effects for this, although there has been concern about the effects of build up of Gadolinium used in MRI scans if used often, notwithstanding much being excreted by the body.
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