Low-dose CT scans (otherwise known as low-dose computed tomography or LDCT scans) are a diagnostic tool used to detect if there are any abnormalities in a particular area of the body.

If your doctor has requested you undergo a low-dose CT scan, there are several things you can do to prepare in the lead up to your scan.

Which CT scans require preparation?

While most LDCT scans do not require any specific preparation, most scans that involve the use of intravenous (IV) contrast (the injection of a dye to enhance the contrast between different tissues) will require you to fast for four hours in the lead up to the scan.

Angiograms and most scans which are examining the neck, chest, abdomen or pelvis involve the use of IV contrast.

What to do in preparation for low-dose CT scan

  • Fasting: If you have been advised to fast before your scan, you should abstain from consuming any food or drink (other than water) for at least four hours before your scan, as it can impact the effectiveness of the test.
  • Avoid wearing any metal to your scan: Metal can interfere with CT imaging, so it’s best to avoid wearing any jewellery or clothing containing metal to your scan. You may also need to remove any dentures or hearing aids.
  • Medical conditions: Let the radiologist know if you have any medical conditions (such as a respiratory tract infection or heart condition) or are currently taking any medications.
  • Bring any previous scans or reports: If you’ve already undergone any physical examinations such as an X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan or MRI, bring them along to your appointment as they can be useful for the radiologist.
  • Referral: Unless you have already submitted an electronic referral, remember to bring the referral from your doctor to your appointment.

Still unsure about anything?

If you’re still unsure about anything you need to do in preparation for low-dose CT scan, the team at Melbourne Radiology Clinic is available to answer any of your questions.

Contact Melbourne Radiation Clinic to speak with one of our friendly staff members, or you can request an appointment online via our website.