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Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

Abdominal CT Scan (computed tomography scan)

Risks

There are a few risks. The contrast dye used in the test can damage your kidneys, especially if they are already impaired by disease. If kidney damage does occur, this is usually temporary. If you are allergic to the dye used in the procedure, you may get a rash or your blood pressure may drop enough to make you feel faint until you get treatment. As with x-rays, there is a small exposure to radiation. The amount of radiation from a CT scan is greater than that from regular x-rays, but it's still too small to be likely to cause harm unless you're pregnant.

From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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