Can a CAT scan miss an abscess?

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Subzeromambo
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1143
   Posted 6/8/2010 5:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Had a CAT scan in the ER last night. Took 4 morphine shots before they could straighten me out enough for the scan. I have uc not crohn's but so few ucers have abscesses that I thought there might be more people here with abcsess experience. The scan showed a very bad flare but a double dose of vicodin is barely relieving the pain. For me an abscess hurts a lot more than a flare.
Would love to hear from you.
Cynthia
Diagnosed 1987 with lower left colitis. Hospitalized many times. Worst case: mega toxic pan colitis Dec. 1999. Current meds: Citalopram, alprazolam, and rowasa. Colorectal abscess surgery 9/09. Bleeding kidney infection 4/10.


Becky77
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Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 6/8/2010 6:11 PM (GMT -7)   
NO test is 100% accurate, so yes, they can miss stuff. A CT is done as if you take your body and slice it like a loaf of bread. There are gaps between the slices of information, so it can miss things. Most of the time, it does detect at least that something is abnormal because tissue around an abnormality would also be affected, but if it's a small abcess, it could be missed.

Is it possible to have a stricture with UC? Maybe that's what's going on...or you're partially obstructed...both things can cause a lot of pain.

I hope things get better for you.
Becky

32 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05, Bilateral pulmonary emboli 10/09
Currently on Humira, Omeprazole, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D
Coumadin stopped 3/15/10!!!!


Subzeromambo
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1143
   Posted 6/8/2010 7:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Doctors are thinking an abscess might be there because of average fevers of 102.7 and because the pain level isn't going down even with morphine. Is it normal to have a fever with strictures?
Diagnosed 1987 with lower left colitis. Hospitalized many times. Worst case: mega toxic pan colitis Dec. 1999. Current meds: Citalopram, alprazolam, and rowasa. Colorectal abscess surgery 9/09. Bleeding kidney infection 4/10.

Post Edited (Subzeromambo) : 6/8/2010 8:44:30 PM (GMT-6)


Becky77
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Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 6/8/2010 7:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I've never had a fever with an obstruction, but I think I remember someone on here saying they got fevers. I could be wrong though.

Are they just going to treat you as if you have an abcess and see if things improve?
Becky

32 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05, Bilateral pulmonary emboli 10/09
Currently on Humira, Omeprazole, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D
Coumadin stopped 3/15/10!!!!


Subzeromambo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1143
   Posted 6/8/2010 8:13 PM (GMT -7)   
I am under observation for 24 hrs with steroids and painkillers no antibiotics. I suspect their hoping the steroids will start to work and they won't have to look for a minute abscess. On the other hand if there is no improvement it is probably an abscess. They did all the normal stool cultures, urine and blood tests. Not all of the results are back yet. There are three doctors. One thinks its an abscess (the most senior doc). The other two just think it is a really bad flare.
After looking at what you've gone through I don't feel like I should complain. I really appreciate your postings.
Diagnosed 1987 with lower left colitis. Hospitalized many times. Worst case: mega toxic pan colitis Dec. 1999. Current meds: Citalopram, alprazolam, and rowasa. Colorectal abscess surgery 9/09. Bleeding kidney infection 4/10.


Kenny23
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 128
   Posted 6/8/2010 10:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, speaking from personal experience.

Had a nice big abdominal abscess that the CT scans kept on missing. I was lucky enough to be in a good hospital where the doctors treated the symptoms and didnt rely on the imaging. I ended up getting a bowel resection.

pimfram
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 506
   Posted 6/8/2010 10:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Definitely. I had a CT a few days before my resection and none were visible. The surgeon said there were a few in the area he removed.
Diagnosed with CD July 2007
Currently on Remicade, Imuran, probiotics, folic acid, multivitamin.
Resection December 2009

Amor fati - Nietzsche


Subzeromambo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1143
   Posted 6/9/2010 9:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Kenny23 and Pimfram, Thank you for the information. Sounds like the CAT scans are pretty useless for abscesses. I hope it is a little more reliable for the cancer. I am having a colonoscopy in 2 weeks. If the pain isn't any better soon I'll ask for the cipro/flagyl and an asap colonoscopy. Any other advice you might have would be great.

Aimee =)
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2004
Total Posts : 1020
   Posted 6/9/2010 11:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Yes, mine wasn't found until my resection. Surprised the surgeon ;) Wasn't found in the scope, either.

Subzeromambo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1143
   Posted 6/9/2010 3:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Aimee =) said...
Yes, mine wasn't found until my resection. Surprised the surgeon ;) Wasn't found in the scope, either.

Ah heck. they seem to be sneaky painful devils. /thnaks for your input though.

FunGuy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 1070
   Posted 6/9/2010 8:07 PM (GMT -7)   
It seems that many U/C patients are rediagnosed as CD. I was one of them.  That could explain your having an abscess. 

Becky77
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1768
   Posted 6/9/2010 8:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Don't ever feel bad for complaining. You're in pain. We all have good and bad days, and on the bad days we need support.
Becky

32 yr old female-dx with Crohn's in '97 after emergency resection and appendectomy, 2nd resection '05, Bilateral pulmonary emboli 10/09
Currently on Humira, Omeprazole, Effexor, Seroquel, Calcium, Vit D
Coumadin stopped 3/15/10!!!!


Subzeromambo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1143
   Posted 6/9/2010 8:24 PM (GMT -7)   
How long between the first diagnosis and the new one? I've been wondering if I might have been misdiagnosed back in 87.
Diagnosed 1987 with lower left colitis. Hospitalized many times. Worst case: mega toxic pan colitis Dec. 1999. Current meds: Citalopram, alprazolam, and rowasa. Colorectal abscess surgery 9/09. Bleeding kidney infection 4/10.


Subzeromambo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1143
   Posted 6/9/2010 10:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Becky,
Thank you for your kind comment. It has been a rough day.

CrohnieToo
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 6/10/2010 5:02 AM (GMT -7)   
In addition the scans are only as good as the radiologist reading them.
My computer says I need to upgrade my brain to be compatible with its new software.

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