St. Joseph Hospital of Orange
1100 West Stewart Dr, Orange, CA 92868714.633.9111
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Radiology & Imaging Services

What is a CT Scan?

Computed Tomography (CT), also known as Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT), uses X-rays to make multiple images (or pictures) of the body.

During some CT scans a liquid called "contrast" may be used. Contrast helps highlight some blood vessels and organs in your body.

Two common types of contrast used in CT scans are:

  • IV contrast (Iodine): IV contrast helps highlight your blood vessels, liver, kidneys and brain. During the injection of IV contrast, you may feel a warm sensation or a hot "flushed" feeling and you may have a "metallic" taste in your mouth. This is normal and will last just a few seconds.
  • Oral contrast: Oral contrast is often used for taking X-rays (images) of the abdomen and pelvis. Oral contrast enhances the stomach and gastrointestinal tract.