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Liver Donation Tests -- CT Scan

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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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One way your healthcare provider can learn more about your liver is through a test called a CT scan. CT stands for "computed tomography."
The CT scanner uses special x-rays and a computer to produce detailed images of the structures inside your body, such as your organs and other tissues. To help the images show up better, a special dye will likely be injected into your bloodstream with a needle. A small amount of people have a reaction to the dye, so be sure to tell your provider if you have allergies to iodine or shellfish.
When it's time for the scan, you'll be asked to lie down on a table, which will then move into the CT scanner. Because this is a narrow tube, some people feel claustrophobic while they're inside. So let your provider know if you have a fear of being in small places -- he or she may be able to give you medicine to help you relax.
Once you're inside the scanner, the x-ray beam will rotate around you as the computer puts together the images of your body. Though the entire procedure may take much longer, it only takes a few minutes to complete the scan itself.
The CT images can help your healthcare provider know more about how your liver is working, its size, and whether or not it looks normal.


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