CT Enterography

CT AngiographyAt UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, we believe parents and guardians can contribute to the success of this test, and we invite you to participate. Please read the following information to learn about the scan and how you can help.

Fast Facts About CT Enterography

  • Your child will not be allowed to eat or drink anything four hours before the scan. 
  • You will check in two hours prior to your scheduled examination time to register and begin drinking preparations for your child's scan.
  • CT Enterography combines a CT scan with a special drink called Breeza. Your child must drink the Breeza in timed intervals to image the small bowel. The amount of Breeza your child has to drink depends on their age and size. 
  • The Breeza must be completed in 60 to 70 minutes, It is very important for your child to finish the entire drink he or she was given or we cannot proceed with the scan.
  • Breeza allows our radiologist to see your child's small bowel more clearly using this drink. If the correct amount of Breeza is not in the small bowels, our radiologist will not be able to visualize this area. 
  • If the Breeza is not finished in the 60 to 70 minute time-frame, we cannot proceed with the scan. After 60 to 70 minutes, the Breeza is out of the small bowel and our radiologist will not be able to visualize this area. 
  • This test also requires an intravenous line, or IV, placed in a vein in your child's arm. The intravenous line will be used to administer second contrast agent called Isovue 370. 
  • This contrast allows our radiologist to visualize the organs and tissues inside your child's abdomen or stomach.
  • IV contrast contains iodine. If your child has ever had a reaction to any contrast, or if he or she is allergic to iodine, please let your doctor and CT technologist know immediately. 
  • If your child has a contrast allergy, you will be given special instruction on premedication for your child prior to their CT scan.
  • After your child finishes her or her Breeza, you and your child will be escorted to the CT scan room for his or her test.

What Is CT Enterography?

CT Enterography is a new diagnostic tool in evaluating small bowel disorders. CT Enterography is highly sensitive and specific for Crohn's disease, and it is increasingly being used when there is concern for small bowel disease.

The Test

  • Your child will be asked to lie down on the table.
  • The CT technologist will place a wide strap across your child's waist to help your child remain still during the test.
  • Once your child is in position on the table, the CT technologist will move the table into the CT scanner to that the right body part is under the camera.
  • At times during the CT scan, the staff will not be in the scanner room with you but will be in a room nearby where the equipment controls are located. They will be able to see you and your child through a large window and will be watching him or her constantly during the scan. An intercom system will allow you to talk to them and vice versa.
  • The CT scanner will make a noise that sounds like a washing machine or humming sound as it takes the pictures.
  • Once the scan begins, your child will need to stay very still at all times to make sure the pictures turn out clear. Depending on his or her age, your child may be asked to hold his or her breath for a few seconds. The CT technologist then will tell your child when to breathe out.
  • The CT technologist will come into the room and administer the IV contrast called Isovue 300. After the contrast goes into the vein, your child will feel a flush of warmth all over their body as well as in the back of his or her mouth. The warm feeling is normal and will go away shortly.
  • The technologist will step out of the room and take the last picture.
  • This scan takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
  • After the scan, the IV placed to administer the contrast will be taken out by our CT technologist or our nurse.

After the Test

A report of your child's scan will be sent to the doctor who ordered it, usually within 24 hours. If the results are urgent, the referring doctor will be contacted immediately. The ordering doctor will follow up with you regarding the results of the exam, usually within 24 hours of receiving them.