Can a CT Scan of the Abdomen Detect Stomach Issues?


When individuals experience symptoms like stomach pain and acid reflux, a CT scan of the abdomen is often used for diagnosis. This scan can detect early signs of stomach conditions such as gastritis, peptic ulcers, gastric perforation, and stomach cancer.

  1. Gastritis: Acute simple or erosive gastritis can show localized mucosal swelling and congestion, along with scattered patchy low-density areas in the affected area. In contrast, the imaging of patients with chronic superficial gastritis typically appears normal, but severe cases may exhibit diffuse thickening or localized bulging. Acute hemorrhagic necrotizing gastritis may present with uniform enhancement of the entire gastric wall, making it difficult to distinguish from surrounding tissues after enhancement.
  2. Peptic Ulcers: Most patients present with round or oval ulcer lesions that have clear, sharp edges and contain fluid inside, often accompanied by noticeable thickening of the intestinal wall. In some cases, patients may also exhibit localized bulging with signs of infiltration, indicating the presence of accumulated necrotic substances at the base of the ulcer.
  3. Gastric Perforation: Gastric perforation typically leads to the leakage of fluid from the stomach, resulting in the formation of a localized gas-liquid level in the abdomen. Additionally, the entry of gastric contents into the abdominal cavity can cause extensive chemical irritation, which may induce symptoms of peritonitis, necessitating a comprehensive assessment based on clinical symptoms and laboratory test results.
  4. Stomach Cancer: As a tumor grows, it can cause the gastric wall to bulge arcuately, resulting in an irregular outer edge of the stomach and potential swelling and protrusion on both sides. Continued growth of tumor cells may compress surrounding blood vessels and nerve bundles, leading to symptoms such as upper abdominal pain. Furthermore, when gastric cancer is complicated by pyloric obstruction, obstructive symptoms may occur, primarily manifesting as free gas below the diaphragm.

For most non-organic diseases caused by gastrointestinal functional disorders, abdominal CT scans may not provide a definitive diagnosis. Therefore, it is necessary to choose other relevant examination methods based on specific symptoms, such as gastrointestinal endoscopy.

In conclusion, individuals experiencing symptoms suggestive of stomach issues should seek prompt medical attention and undergo relevant examinations to determine the cause. Adhering to regular eating habits and avoiding overeating can help prevent further damage to the stomach.

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