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cat with contrast or without?


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Hi all,

They have been watching my 2 nodules 9mm and 6mm for 3 years now with catscan with contrast becaus eof family history and the fact as a young teen and early twenties stupid person taht I was I smoked they are checking it for two more years once a year now heres a question I hope someone knows the answer to. Should I have my next cat with contrast or without? would it show the same thing without? and how dangerous is it to keep getting the contrast? In back of my mind I want it with becaus eI know it LIGHTS UP lung area but then again constant doses of radiation can also be bad so all you nodule watchers out there tell me do you get checked with contrast? any advic eon this will be well apreciated God Bless!! :D

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Have you asked your doctor what he/she thinks you should do? I know some doc's think it's best with contrast and some say no. It's pretty much a horse a piece. Contrast is very hard on your kidney

so if they can see without it, they will do it that way.

Also, there are NEW CT machines that are now a combination of CT and PET scan. These machines show much more then the older CT scan machines did. You might want to check that out as well.

We have been watching my nodules without contrast for 4 years now. Not to say I haven't had contrast now and again, but not to much if I have anything to say about it.

If it's been three years for you that they have been watching you, I would say your doing really good being your nodules haven't done anything but drive you nuts. :P:wink:

I'm sure your doctor is working within the guidelines of your insurance company as well. Most insurance companies won't allow to many CT's without you having cancer.

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I've had at least 15 Ct Scans with the contrast. My understanding they get a better picture, at least in my case. Like anything else diferent strokes for different folks. As far as any exposure to radiation levels I don't think the small amount is harmful. So far I do not glow in the dark. :lol: Best to bring up your concerns to your doctor to ease your mind. Hope this helps.

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I have mine without contrast. I had an allergic reaction in the past to the iodinated(?) stuff they use. However, have also read that a NON contrast CT is the best way to characterize calcification, or lack thereof, in a nodule. It is called "densitometry". Based on the non-contrast enhancement/density, measured in Hounsfeld Units (HU), they can determine the presence of calcification, fat, blood, etc. After determining a "baseline" density, they can use contrast to check for enhancement levels, post-contrast, that can give them a further indication of the lesion's/nodule's nature. I had actually read that contrast can mimic calcification, and so a baseline, non-contrast CT should always be performed FIRST to check for calcification.(like Katie's)

I will be seeing one of the TOP nodule docs, out of Mayo Clinic, in May. (Dr. Robert Viggiano) This man has been obsessing/studying SPN's, and multiple nodules intensively for at least 13 years!!! 8) Many of the articles & studies on the subject, done out of Mayo Med. School, and Mayo Clinic were authored by him. Hopefully, after that appointment, I will have some comprehensive, current and accurate information to share with all you NW's. Optimal imaging techniques, I'm sure, will be one of our discussions.

In the meantime....I would have them without. There is no point in having the contrast unecessarily, and while the rad. dose isn't THAT high, why have all the extra passes thru the CT if you don't really need to? If they see a change in size/structure - THEN they can follow-up with a contrast CT, if necessary.

After 3 years...I'm with Connie...sounds like you are gonna do just fine! :wink:

Yours in Watch!


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  • 2 weeks later...

I go every six months for CT scans. First they do a couple of slides with out contrast and then one with contrast. My onc suggested following up without contrast, but I'm afraid they won't be able to see as much. I have 2 nodules they are watching, but has been unchanged for about 3 years. The drs. think it's scar tissue, but no one knows for sure. They are too small to light up on the PET.

I'd be very interested to hear what the specializt at the Mayo clinic says. Please keep us posted.

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