CT Enterography

Your doctor has recommended you for computed tomography (CT) enterography, which is a means of taking images of the small bowel and the large bowel or colon. Enterography comes from the words "entero," which means intestine or bowel, and "graphy," which means image. CT enterography is useful in the evaluation of inflammatory bowel disease, gastrointestinal bleeding and some gastrointestinal tumors.

The CT enterography exam involves:

  • Drinking fluid to distend the small bowel
  • Use of an intravenous contrast agent during the scan to make blood vessels more visible on the images and to identify bowel inflammation
  • An IV of glucagon to slow bowel movement
  • Oral Reglan to enhance bowel filling

Our team of expert physicians, nurses and technologists who perform CT enterography is led by Cindy Kallman, MD, chief of CT at the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center.

Before Arriving for Your Procedure

  • You should not eat or drink anything for three hours before your exam start time, unless instructed to do so by your physician. Please take any medications as usual.
  • You will be asked to arrive early (90 minutes) for your procedure to allow time to drink three bottles of a liquid.
  • If your doctor gave you an order, please bring it with you.
  • We want to make any time you have to wait as pleasant as possible. Please consider bringing your favorite magazine, book or music player to help you pass any time you may have to wait. 
  • Please leave your jewelry and valuables at home.
  • Please wear comfortable clothing.

After Arriving

  • Please tell the technologist, radiology nurse and/or imaging physician of any allergies you may have, and if you are pregnant or are nursing.
  • You will be asked questions to verify that the intravenous contrast is safe for you. If you have a history of kidney disease, a blood test may be conducted to ensure you can safely be given intravenous contrast.  If you have Crohn’s disease, contrast helps to show inflammation in the bowel wall and surrounding structures, as well as fistulas (an opening or passage between two organs or an organ and the skin caused by disease or injury).
  • Glucagon is used during the exam to slow your normal bowel movements. Glucagon can worsen glaucoma, some heart rhythm disturbances, and cause difficulty urinating (if you have prostate disease). Please make sure to tell the technologist before the exam if you have any of these conditions.
  • Before the start of your procedure, you will be asked to drink a thin flavored liquid to distend your bowel.

During Your Procedure

  • You will be asked to change into a hospital gown and an IV will be placed in your arm.
  • You will be asked to lie on the scanning table head-first with your arms at your side.
  • To help relax your small intestine, glucagon will be administered through your IV.
  • You will be asked to lie flat on your back.
  • The imaging technologist will inject a contrast agent (dye) to improve the quality of the images. The dye is injected into a vein in your arm and may cause a warm sensation.
  • As pictures are taken, you must hold very still, and in some cases hold your breath up to 25 seconds.
  • The technologist is always able to see and hear you during the exam.

After Your Procedure

  • There are no restrictions placed upon you. You may eat and drive as normal.
  • After the study, you should drink fluids (8 cups) to flush the dye out of your body.
  • Your films will be examined by an imaging physician and a report sent to your doctor. Your doctor will review the results with you.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 310-423-8000

The S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center provides a full range of advanced imaging, both radiology and cardiology, as well as interventional radiology and interventional tumor (oncology) treatments to the greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, Encino, Mid-Cities, Sherman Oaks, Silver Lake, Studio City, Toluca Lake and West Hollywood.