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Diverticulitis CT Scan

Diverticulitis CT Scan?noresize

Diverticulitis is typically diagnosed during an acute attack because it is the first time that people experience symptoms. However, many people have Diverticulosis, the dormant form of the condition, and do not even know it! In fact, Diverticulosis is present in 35% of adults below the age of 50 and 58% of adults above the age of 60. Since most people with Diverticulosis are asymptomatic, their condition is regularly undiagnosed until the condition advances to Diverticulitis. Diagnosing Diverticulitis has a few steps:

Physical Examination

Before moving on to scans and blood work, your doctor will first perform a physical examination to check for abdominal tenderness. Typically, the first sign of Diverticulitis is pain in the lower left abdomen. Doctors may also complete a pelvic examination for Women to rule out pelvic disease.

Laboratory Tests

Diagnostic lab tests include blood, urine, pregnancy, liver enzyme, and stool tests. Blood, urine, and stool tests help doctors rule out infection. Additionally, women of childbearing age may complete a pregnancy test to ensure that pregnancy is not the cause of the abdominal pain.

Diverticulitis CT Scan

If physical examination and laboratory tests do not uncover an alternative cause of the pain, the next step is to do an abdominal and pelvic CT scan. These tests are the most definitive ways to diagnose Diverticulitis. A CT scan will identify inflamed or infected diverticula (pouches) in the intestine and confirm the presence of Diverticulitis. Diverticulitis CT scans can also indicate the severity of the condition and help guide the treatment approach. One hour before the CT scan, you will receive either an intravenous (IV) of contrast material or you will drink an oral contrast material. The contrast material helps provide a more detailed view of the affected area.

Although CT scans are considered the gold standard in diagnosing Diverticulitis, there are other diagnostic methods. Doctors may use colonoscopy, ultrasounds, or x-rays on your lower GI tract to diagnose Diverticulitis.

Although these methods can be used to diagnose Diverticulitis, CT scans are the preferred method because they provide more information on the disease severity and are less invasive than other procedures (for example, colonoscopy). However, it is always best to follow your doctor’s treatment plan to ensure that the approach is tailored to you and your condition.

For more information on how to manage a diverticulitis flare and improve your diet to deal with your diverticulitis, check out our main resources page.

 

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