The following guide helps walk you through a comprehensive approach to understand and interpreting abdominal CT scans. As a refresher read this guide on the fundamentals of CT studies to help orient yourself.
When interpreting any radiological study it is important to have a clear algorithm.
- Lungs: begin with a lung window and look for any nodules/findings
- Heart: switch to a soft tissue/abdominal window and look for any findings
- Liver: soft tissue/abdominal window. Any lesions/abnormal findings.
- Gallbladder/bile ducts: soft tissue window
- Pancreas: abdomen window. Masses etc.
- Spleen: masses/enlargement
- Adrenals: masses or enlargement
- Kidneys: look also with coronal. Evaluate for mass, stones, or masses.
- Ureters: Track ureters if possible and look for any obstruction 2/2 masses etc.
- GI tract: begin at rectum and run the bowel in the opposite direction. Evaluate all the bowels for inflammation, thickening
- Stomach: look for distention
- Vascular: follow the aorta, look at celiac, SMA, IMA
- Retroperitoneal/mesentery/peritoneal cavity: any abnormal findings or lymphadenopathy
- Bones: utilize the bone window. Evaluate the vertebrae using a saggital view. Look at the ribs as well and any other bones that are in view.
Page Updated: 07.31.2017