Has Anyone Had a Catscan--What Does It Do or Show?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by catgal, Dec 6, 2002.

  1. catgal

    catgal New Member

    I have FM/CFS, Degenerative Disc Disease (ddd), Rheumatoid & Osteoarthritis, and severe Asthma & Allergies--and all of this except for the Asthma and MRI I got on the ddd seems to be invisible illnesses.

    Would a catscan be of any help; what do they do or show, and how expensive are they? I have no insurance, but am wanting something that will provide evidence of what ails me. Please help. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Carol....
  2. catgal

    catgal New Member

    I have FM/CFS, Degenerative Disc Disease (ddd), Rheumatoid & Osteoarthritis, and severe Asthma & Allergies--and all of this except for the Asthma and MRI I got on the ddd seems to be invisible illnesses.

    Would a catscan be of any help; what do they do or show, and how expensive are they? I have no insurance, but am wanting something that will provide evidence of what ails me. Please help. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Carol....
  3. karen2002

    karen2002 New Member

    I have had numerous catscans lately, Carol, but for unrelated medical needs (I have a tumor on my left kidney). Catscans show what ever area, they decide to image. I am not sure I understand fully your question. If you are asking if a Cat will help in diagnosing Fibro. The answer is no. They could be used in your ddd, and arthritis probs. but you said you have had an MRI for this? so no new news would probably gained by a Catscan in this area. As far as expense, the are over $1200.00 each where I have mine. The price varies a bit as to whether or not they use contrast dye, or not. I have had both.

    Computerized Axial Tomography is what Cat stands for..here's a small explanation, I copied for you. Karen

    What is a CAT scan?

    A computerized axial tomography scan is more commonly known by its abbreviated name, CAT scan or CT scan. It is an x-ray procedure which combines many x-ray images with the aid of a computer to generate cross-sectional views and, if needed, three-dimensional images of the internal organs and structures of the body. A CAT scan is used to define normal and abnormal structures in the body and/or assist in procedures by helping to accurately guide the placement of instruments or treatments. A large donut-shaped x-ray machine takes x-ray images at many different angles around the body. These images are processed by a computer to produce cross-sectional pictures of the body. In each of these pictures the body is seen as an x-ray "slice" of the body, which is recorded on a film. This recorded image is called a tomogram. "Computerized Axial Tomography" refers to the recorded tomogram "sections" at different levels of the body.

    Imagine the body as a loaf of bread and you are looking at one end of the loaf. As you remove each slice of bread, you can see the entire surface of that slice from the crust to the center. The body is seen on CAT scan slices in a similar fashion from the skin to the central part of the body being examined. When these levels are further "added" together, a three-dimensional picture of an organ or abnormal body structure can be obtained.

    Why are CAT scans performed?

    CAT scans are performed to analyze the internal structures of various parts of the body. This includes the head, where traumatic injuries, (such as blood clots or skull fractures), tumors, and infections can be identified. In the spine, the bony structure of the vertebrae can be accurately defined, as can the anatomy of the intervertebral discs and spinal cord. In fact, CAT scan methods can be used to accurately measure the density of bone in evaluating osteoporosis.

    Occasionally, contrast material (an x-ray dye) is placed into the spinal fluid to further enhance the scan and the various structural relationships of the spine, the spinal cord, and its nerves. CAT scans are also used in the chest to identify tumors, cysts, or infections that may be suspected on a chest x-ray. CAT scans of the abdomen are extremely helpful in defining body organ anatomy, including visualizing the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, aorta, kidneys, uterus, and ovaries. CAT scans in this area are used to verify the presence or absence of tumors, infection, abnormal anatomy, or changes of the body from trauma.


  4. dd

    dd New Member

    Hi Carol - I have had catscans and MRI's. They are very expenisive, even with insurance.

    I am glad that I had them done because they did find calcified spots on my brain that they originally thought was a mild stroke. The "so called" stroke happened when I was 31 and I am 38 now. That was also right around the same time that I began to feel "sick" with all of the CFS and FM symptoms. My endo and my nuero docs think that it was not a stroke now and that the calcified spots on the brain are from the FM and CFS. They came to this conclusion because they said that a lot of CFS and FM patients have calcified spots on their brains and in other areas of their bodies. I also had calcified bones under each side of my jaw bones that I had removed in August.

    I do believe that having the catscans and the MRI's helped me in getting approved for SSD.

    Since you do not have insurance maybe you could apply for Medicaid and have it done thru your state.

    God luck and take care.

    Debbie
  5. JP

    JP New Member

    Hi Carol,

    I have had a CT scan of my pelvis and my lumbar spine. The CT shows slices and levels, perhaps more detail than an MRI, not sure. Your degenerative disc disease should show up on an MRI. You can see tears in the annular fiber, bulging and so much more. You may want to request a copy of the report to see for yourself. I have four bad disc levels in my lumbar spine, actually more from my MRI and CT scan and only 4 were tested. A horrible and confirming test for discogenic pain and disc disease is a discogram. Some specialists will not make a surgical move without this test while others will not order the test for any reason. My neurosurgeon ordered mine. It is very expensive. I think mine was over $6,500.00 with the test and CT scan. I wouldn't wish it on anyone with disc pain. It was a modern day sterile torture chamber...how much can you take before you pass out.

    I hope this is useful information.

    Take care,
    Jan
  6. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    head CT and an EEG many years ago to determine the cause of seizures I'd had and it showed a temporal lobe dysfunction, which may or may not be useful to me at any time. But, the MRI I had recently MAY just be all I need to receive Disability benefits! I thought the severe back/buttock pain would not show up as anything except my Fibro, but it showed a LOT more and the doctor took me out of work immediately and indefinitely! NOW, I have insurance and I only have to pay the hospital $207.15.....I'm sure the radiologist will send a bill as well, but this isn't much considering how much I could've paid without insurance. It's a gamble for FMS sufferers, though, because if it doesn't show anything, what've you gained as far as helping your case? I have never thought that these scans would help in diagnosing FMS/CFIDS, but I could very well be mistaken. A lot of us have learned that we may NEVER have real evidence of what ails us relating to FMS/CFIDS....that's what is so disturbing. I hope someone can help you with this decision. It is an expensive test.
    Kady