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Radiology/CT scans picking up disc problems

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Question
Hello Michael,
I have had many investigations for the source of abdominal/pelvic pain this year.
My Dr. says she thinks an abdominal CT with contrast will also identify possible Thoracic disc injuries, therefor no need to investigate that area further.
Is this true?
[I have a large extrusion at L1-L2 which I do not think was identified, but will ask for a copy of the report tomorrow]
Thank you for your opinion.
Regards,
Kathy

Answer
Kathy,

Very often radiologists who read abdominal CT may not mention or notice degenerative changes in the spine or may just include a general statement in the report that such changes are seen at several levels.  The findings are certainly there but one need to be clued into that this is an area of interest.  Although, lumbar spine and disc protrusions are much easier to see on CT than thoracic changes, the latter is also possible but with slightly decreased sensitivity.
Perhaps if nothing is mentioned in the report, you or your Dr. may call the radiologist and specifically ask him/her to review the spine and make an addendum to the report.

Hope this helps.

MK

Radiology

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Michael K.

Expertise

Almost any kind of questions regarding any types of radiology exams, procedures, meaning of radiology reports etc...

Experience

12 year experience in the field of radiology

Organizations
American Society of Neuroradiology, Senior Member Society of Pediatric Radiology, Active Member

Publications
Radiology Seminars in pediatric neurology American Journal of Roentgenology American Journal of Neuroradiology

Education/Credentials
Board Certified in Diagnostic Radiology Additional Certificate of Qualification in Neuroradiology

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