Why Do a CT Scan on a Stomach and Ultrasound a Liver?


Quick Answer

A computed tomography, or CT scan, is used after stomach cancer is diagnosed to determine the stage of the cancer, according to WebMD. A liver ultrasound may be used to detect cysts or abnormal growths in the liver, cancer of the liver, or fatty liver.

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Full Answer

After a stomach cancer diagnosis, the chest, abdomen and pelvis undergo a CT scan to evaluate whether or not the tumor has spread to the lymph nodes or other organs, states WebMD. The CT scan can also detect fluid in the abdomen as well as abdominal and pelvic nodules.

A computerized, or computed, tomography scan is a series of cross-sectional X-ray images of the body used to examine bones and soft tissues for damage or abnormalities, explains Healthline. These images can be combined to create a three-dimensional picture of the body. The individual may be given a special dye called contrast to help structures, such as blood vessels and intestines, show up more clearly on the X-ray images. The dye may be drunk as a liquid, injected into the arm or administered through the rectum via an enema, depending on the part of the body scanned. The patient may be asked to fast for four to six hours before the test if contrast is used. The test is minimally invasive and quick.

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