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Is this barium prep too much for a CT scan???

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Is this barium prep too much for a CT scan???

Postby Colon2007 » Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:14 pm

Dear All,

my husband is taking two bottles of barium USP before midnight tonight. at the CT scan tomorrow he will drink another one with a nuclear injection into his arm. Please tell me if this is normal. He always feels sick after a CT scan.It sounds like too much I thought you have to drink one bottle before maybe 2-4 hours before then one just before. It all sounds too much. Barium brings the rays of the CT closer to the body to see for cancer but i think they give him more instead of saying take the first one at 6am, then the next one when you come in at 9 or 10. My husband wouldnt mind waiting an hour rather than drinking that much the night before. Have you all had this for your normal CT checkups?


Please I don't know what we should do!

Monica
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Re: Is this barium prep too much for a CT scan???

Postby justsing » Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:19 pm

In our radiology department, you are supposed to be NPO for two hours before your arrival time. Then you drink the barium -- 2 bottles for me -- over the course of an hour and then you have your scan. I was told that the window for having the scan is within 3-4 hours of when you started drinking the barium. Then in addition to the barium, they give me an IV iodine contrast material right at the time of the scan, while I'm in the machine.

I have no idea whether this is the standard for radiology everywhere because I've never had CT anywhere else.
justsing, 46
Stage IV
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Re: Is this barium prep too much for a CT scan???

Postby helen098 » Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:12 pm

For my Cat Scan I have to drink either 1 or 2 bottles of the artificial banana flavored barium drink and then wait about 1 hour before the test, then right before I have to drink another small bottle (about 6 oz I think), I also get the IV injection for contrast. I have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the day before.
I hate the drink besides tasting gross it gives my diarrhea all day. But I have to drink it yuck.
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Re: Is this barium prep too much for a CT scan???

Postby Lifes2short-notloggedin » Thu Sep 04, 2008 3:57 pm

At one clinic I have to drink the first bottle of barium an hour before showing up for the scan then I drink a second one before the scan. At another clinic I had to drink two bottles at the clinic prior to scan. I've never heard of drinking barium the night before. I hate the stuff. It makes me sick and it raises hell with my colostomy! More recently I started having PET/CTs and I usually decline the barium.
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Re: Is this barium prep too much for a CT scan???

Postby AngelaW » Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:19 pm

Yeah and two bottles of that crap with a colostomy makes it real interesting! If you have a colostomy, make sure to take plenty of bags with you as well as barriers in case the original barrier gets blown off. Do I sound like I am speaking from experience :D ??
Rectal Cancer Dx 11-2-06 Age 38
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Re: Is this barium prep too much for a CT scan???

Postby Joy » Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:23 pm

I drink a LARGE bottle of the "orrible stuff over a 2 hour period. Wait 1 hour then have my CT scans. They do not give me the injected contrast because I have a "borderline reading" on my kidney function. I freaked when the rad tech told me "no contrast injection. blah, blah, borderline etc etc". Asked my Oncologist and she said "this is common with patients who have had Chemo (age 60) and it is better to be safe than sorry". My guess is that OXi did a number on my kidneys :shock:

Joy
Stage III rectal 2 nodes
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Joy
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Re: Is this barium prep too much for a CT scan???

Postby Gaelen » Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:35 pm

Colon2007 wrote:He always feels sick after a CT scan.It sounds like too much I thought you have to drink one bottle before maybe 2-4 hours before then one just before. It all sounds too much. Barium brings the rays of the CT closer to the body to see for cancer but i think they give him more instead of saying take the first one at 6am, then the next one when you come in at 9 or 10. My husband wouldnt mind waiting an hour rather than drinking that much the night before. Have you all had this for your normal CT checkups? Please I don't know what we should do!


Monica, you need to talk to your radiology department and explain the issue and ask them for their alternative plan/drink. Every lab is different, but they all have a backup plan for patients who can't tolerate their standard stuff.

I've been low carbing for nearly 6 1/2 years (wow, that sounds like forever when I type it!) Anyway, I won't put that much sugar and carbs into my body, and I don't it well at all. The banana drink made me sick almost instantly. Then I heard the receptionist order the 'diabetic drink' for a patient and asked her what was in that one. It's a liter of raspberry crystal light, into which the barium is diluted...and you really only have to drink about half of it plus the injection they give you to get a good scan. Now I specifically request the diabetic drink at my local oncologist's imaging center; it's the standard drink offered at MSKCC, so I don't have to ask for it special.

I also have to be NPO for two hours prior to the scans at MSKCC, and arrive to drink the stuff an hour in advance. Locally, I think it's the same but I haven't had a scan locally since January and I've kind of forgotten their routine.

In any case, what is done in other places isn't relevant if the place doing your husband's scan has a different protocol. You need to call them, explain the problems and your concerns, and ask what to do.
Be in harmony with your expectations. - Life Out Loud
4/04: dx'd @48 StageIV RectalCA w/9 liver mets. 8 chemos, 4 surgeries, last remission 34 mos.
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Re: Is this barium prep too much for a CT scan???

Postby NWgirl » Thu Sep 04, 2008 4:49 pm

The last CT I had done - my prep was exactly the same as Justsing outlined.
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Re: Is this barium prep too much for a CT scan???

Postby justsing » Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:49 pm

When I had my PET/CT, I drank Gastrovue which was sort of an orange Tang thing. I was lucky to keep it down because normally sugar free citrus flavored stuff makes me puke like it's my JOB. I warned them about that and so they didn't make me drink as much. I think that Gastrovue is available for regular CT's as well for anyone who can't tolerate the Barium for whatever reason.
justsing, 46
Stage IV
colon resection 12/07
Liver resection 04/08
Phase I vaccine trial
liver, lung LN mets
tried Oxi, Iri and Avastin
now trying new chemo combos then sir spheres
College prof in theatre & voice
2 girls 18 & 14, one son 10
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Re: Is this barium prep too much for a CT scan???

Postby garbovatwin » Thu Sep 04, 2008 6:31 pm

They had me drink two bottles one hour apart. Before the scan they shoot something through the i.v. The stuff I had to drink was very tolerable, of course I was in so much pain both times i would have drank turpentine to get it over with and try to find out what was causing it. Sounds like a pretty normal dosage to me.

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Re: Is this barium prep too much for a CT scan???

Postby PammySue_51 » Thu Sep 04, 2008 7:11 pm

I always pick up my barium stuff a day early. It's a pretty big bottle. If my CT appt. is at 8:30 a.m. I drink half of it at 7:00 a.m. and the other half at 7:30. While it's not pleasant it hasn't caused me any ostomy issues. I'd rather drink this stuff in the privacy of my home than drink it there and play the waiting game.
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Re: Is this barium prep too much for a CT scan???

Postby weisssoccermom » Thu Sep 04, 2008 7:25 pm

My prep is way different. I usually schedule my CT scan very early in the morning. The evening before, I drink one bottle of the stuff and then drink the other bottle 1 1/2 hours before the test is scheduled. They try and get me to drink another cup full when I get there, but I always decline. Can't stomach anything more. In addition, I have to stop drinking anything else (obviously besides the second bottle) 2 hours before the scan. BTW - Seriously, try the Very Berry Smoothie flavor. I've tried the banana, the awful citrus and the VBSmoothie is actually OK. Now, I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's like a regular smoothie but it isn't awful and you CAN get it down. From the sounds of everyone else's protocol, I would rather take one bottle before I go to bed the evening before the test and then only one bottle when I get there. It just doesn't seem as though I am taking as much at one time.

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Re: Is this barium prep too much for a CT scan???

Postby Troy8 » Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:47 am

I have had 4 CT scans this year and hated the barium the most no matter what flavor they gave me. I had to drink one bottle an hour before the scan with no food or water 8 hours before the scan. This last time, i went to Johns Hopkins for it and they gave a 3D CT scan where all I had to do was fast for 4 hours,then drink 2 cups of water. I was relieved and asked why no barium. They explained that the barium in a 3D CT scan makes marks and may cloud the scan. The 3D scan was clearer and gave more info for the surgeons. They said not all hospitals use/have this or if they have it most use it only for Liver transplants only or use MRI's inplace of it. You may want to ask if they have this option in your area as it is less evasive (no Barium!) and quicker and seems to provide better detail.

Good luck. Hope this helps.
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Re: Is this barium prep too much for a CT scan???

Postby Joy » Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:53 am

I have re-read my post and I think I should clarify.

I drink a LARGE bottle of "clear" liquid. It doesn't really have any taste -- the only thing is that I have to drink LOTS of it over a 2 hour period. They give me a big plastic glass with 30 minute intervals marked on it and I have to drink down to the mark each time for 2 hours. I don't have to drink the chalky barium that everyone is talking about.

I don't get the "injected" contrast. I wonder if they get a "clear" picture without the injected contrast?

Joy
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Re: Is this barium prep too much for a CT scan???

Postby Joanne 814 » Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:58 am

I drank the one bottle at home. When I got there they handed me more, and more. I told her I would be sick. She brought me a trash can. I melted down in the waiting room. I cried and they put me in a separate room, away from other patients.

I choked that down, and got another glass as I was in where the testing area. I tried, and then had to call for the pink bucket, and I vomited. Then I cried again, thinking io just screwed up the test and would have to do it again. But since my area was low, the tech said the first bottle should have been enough. And it was! Thank goodness!!!

ONWARD!!

Joanne
Age: 49
Dx: Nov 07 @ age 43
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Colon Resection: Nov 07, 4 of 27 LN
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