Munson Health
CT Scan of the Head

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by Lukas R

(Head CT)


Possible Complications

A chemical called contrast may be used to help improve the pictures. Some people can have an allergic reaction or develop kidney problems with contrast material. However, bad reactions are rare. Your doctor will review a list of possible complications of a CT scan with contrast.
A CT scan does use radiation. You and your doctor will weigh the harms and benefits of this test. A CT scan may not be advised if you are pregnant.
Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the test.

Call Your Doctor

If you were given contrast, call your doctor if any of the following occurs after the test:
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Nausea
  • Swollen, itchy eyes
  • Tightness of throat
  • Difficulty breathing
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.


American Cancer Society

Radiological Society of North America



Canadian Association of Radiologists

Canadian Radiation Protection Association



Brenner DJ. Should we be concerned about the rapid increase in CT usage? Rev Environ Health . 2010;25(1):63-68.

Computed tomography (CT)—Head. Radiological Society of North America Radiology Info website. Available at: . Updated March 7, 2013. Accessed March 28, 2013.

Positron Emission Tomography - Computed Tomograpy (PET/CT). Radiology website. Available at: . Updated April 24, 2012. Accessed March 28, 2013.


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