Hello! You have been scheduled for a CT exam at our facility. Please read the following information carefully, as it contains important instructions for your exam.

Your exam may be ordered with or without IV contrast. If you are having a CT exam of the abdomen or pelvis, you may need oral contrast also. At the time of scheduling, we will go over your exam type and give you special instructions based on the type of exam and contrast ordered.

Instructions for Oral Contrast

You can either pick the oral contrast ahead of time and start drinking it per instructions before arriving for your appointment OR you can come 2 hours ahead of your appointment time and start drinking the oral contrast at the facility.

  • Do not eat or drink anything except water 4 hours before your appointment time.
  • Shake the contrast well before drinking. It does not need to be refrigerated but it tastes better when cold.
  • Begin drinking the contrast 2 hours before your scheduled exam time.
  • Drink 1/3 of a bottle every fifteen minutes.
  • Save the last third and bring it with you to your appointment and drink the last third at the facility.
  • It is important to follow the instructions carefully so that the contrast can fill your whole intestine for good-quality images.

Instructions for IV Contrast:

Please let us know if you have an allergy to Iodine or have had a prior allergic reaction to IV contrast during your previous CT exam. It is important to know what type of allergic reaction you had . The reaction may be considered mild if it was a rash or hives. In this type of mild reaction, we can pre-medicate you with Benadryl or prednisone. If you decide to take Benadryl before the exam, ensure you have a designated driver to drive you to your appointment. Benadryl will make you feel drowsy and you should not be driving or operating heavy equipment after taking this medication.

If you have a severe allergy to Iodine, then you will not be a candidate for the IV contrast study. A severe reaction would entail shortness of breath or an anaphylactic reaction.

Labs for the Exam ordered with IV Contrast

Renal (kidney) function labs are required for IV contrast. The IV contrast is flushed through your kidneys and it is important to make sure that you have good kidney function to get rid of the contrast from your body. If your GFR (kidney function lab) is less than 30 ml/min, contact your primary care doctor to make sure it is safe for you to have the IV contrast. The labs required are BUN/CREAT and GFR. These labs must be within the last 90 days.

Labs are needed if you:

  • Are above the age of 60.
  • Have a history of kidney disease, on dialysis, kidney transplant, kidney, Kidney surgery, cancer of the kidney, low kidney function.
  • Have a history of diabetes.
  • Have a history of hypertension and you are on blood pressure medications.
  • If you have not had any labs in the last 90 days, please contact your primary care physician for a lab order.
  • Please bring a copy of your lab results with you to appointment or fax to 623-815-8299.

Eating and drinking fluids before the exam:

  • Drink lots of water a day before and after the test is completed. This will ensure that the contrast material is flushed out of your system quickly. Staying well hydrated also makes it easier to find your veins for IV access to give you IV contrast.
  • Try to avoid drinks other than water.
  • Do not eat four hours before your exam, if it is ordered with contrast-oral or IV.

Taking Medications:

  • You can take your medications as prescribed by your doctor on the day of your exam.
  • If you are taking insulin, check your blood sugar in the morning and adjust your dose accordingly.

Pregnancy and Breast Feeding:

CT exam is not safe during pregnancy. If you suspect that you may be pregnant, please take a urine pregnancy test before the exam. If the test is positive, you will have to cancel the CT exam and consult with your referring doctor or primary care physician.

Breast Feeding: Contrast given during the CT exam can alter the taste of breast milk . Avoid breastfeeding for 24 hours after the contrast administration. Express the breast milk from both breasts and discard the milk for 24 hours after the contrast administration. You can resume breastfeeding after 24 hours. You may pump the breast milk before the exam and feed the baby in the first 24 hours after contrast administration.


If you have a mild allergic reaction like rash or hives, contact us at 623-815-8200 or contact your primary care physician.If you have severe allergic reactions like shortness of breath, tightness in your throat, or anaphylactic reaction-call 911. Contact your primary care physician If you experience a problem in the area of injection like redness, swelling, fever, or pain. If your symptoms get worse, go to the ER for immediate attention. You can use a warm towel If there is mild swelling or soreness.