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What is the difference between ultrasound and CT scan?

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Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1462 Questions
I am scheduled for an abdominal CT scan with contrast next week. By coincidence, I had an abdominal ultrasound in September. The results were negative. I know that a CT scan is much more accurate, but can I have some peace of mind in that the ultrasound was okay? The two tests were ordered by different doctors for different reasons.
Posted Fri, 29 Nov 2013 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Yes, you can have some peace of mind Detailed Answer: Hi Thanks for your query. it is true that the CT scan is more accurate than ultrasound but if ultrasound is normal then CT scan is more likely to be normal than otherwise. You have not mentioned why these are being done. That may help me to guide you better. Hope I have answered your query. I will be available to answer further followup queries, if any.
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Follow-up: What is the difference between ultrasound and CT scan? 15 hours later
The September ultrasound was requested by my cardiologist to check on my abdominal aorta. It was okay. The CT scan was ordered by my GI Dr for my complaint of weight loss with no other signs. He already did a number of lab tests, blood tests, and a chest x-ray and all were within normal range. That explains the two tests. Does that explain why I asked my original question?
Answered by Dr. Indranil Ghosh 7 minutes later
Brief Answer: Yes, it does Detailed Answer: Ultrasound may sometimes miss some small lesions. Also, some organs and structures, like those far behind, are not always well visualised. Otherwise ultrasound in good hands is quite accurate. Hence, CT is more likely to be normal. Still, it needs to be done to rule out any significant lesion. Regards.
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