News: Stop Routinely Ordering Oral Contrast for Abdominal CT Scans

From Emergency Medicine News:

Oral contrast is also sometimes required for diagnosing small bowel obstruction, specifically in locating the transition point. Contrast has been shown to help predict the need for surgery (Am J Surg 2016;211[6]:1114), but diagnosis alone can be made on an unenhanced study. (Eur J Radiol 2009;71[1]:135.) The only times in which oral contrast can be routinely recommended are when patients have undergone bowel-altering surgery (e.g., gastric bypass) or when scans are ordered with a specific indication for bowel obstruction. Otherwise, skipping oral contrast in most instances of abdominal CT scan appears prudent.

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