Patient Instructions for Radiology Exams

CT Scan

CT Abdomen - Nothing by mouth four hours prior to exam.  One hour prior to exam, drink one bottle Readi-Cat.
CT Abdomen/Pelvis
  1. Drink one bottle of Readi-Cat at 9:00p.m. the evening prior to exam.  You may eat and drink after drinking the Readi-Cat.
  2. On the day of the exam, DO NOT eat or drink four hours prior to the exam.  One hour prior to exam, drink a second bottle of Readi-Cat.  Readi-Cat is best if it has been refrigerated prior to drinking.

Note:  Patient should not withhold prescribed medications.  If patient is Diabetic, take insulin as directed followed by a light meal, i.e. toast, juice, coffee.

Stone Study - No prep
Appendicitus - Require IV contrast along with enema.
CT Biopsy
  1. Admit to Day Surgery
  2. Clear liquid diet for six hours prior to procedure.
  3. Hep Lock
  4. PT, PTT, INR for liver/renal Biopsy patients on anticoags.
  5. Verification of Consent for Computerized Tomography Guided (Liver-Renal) Biopsy and Conscious Sedation.
  6. Admission, exam and recovery may take 2-6 hours.  Patient must have responsible adult driver for discharge.
Diagnostic Radiology 
Barium Swallow - Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the evening before your exam.
Upper GI - Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the evening before your exam.
Small Bowel Series - Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the evening before your exam.
Barium Enema - Two Days before exam:  Take only liquids.  Meals may include clear broth, strained fruit juices, tea, coffee or Jello.
Barium Enema with Air Contrast
  1. One Day before exam:  At 1,3,6,10 p.m. drink 8 oz. clear liquid in addition to the clear liquid diet.
  2. 6 p.m. drink 8 oz. bottle of magnesium citrate.
  3. 8 p.m. take 4 dulcolax tablets with 8 oz. liquid.
  4. Morning of Exam:  Drink at least 8 oz. or more liquid, but no other breakfast.
  5. At least one hour before leaving for your exam, insert one dulcolax Suppository into your rectum.  Wait at least 15 minutes before evacuating.

Note: If you are having an IVP on the same day, please follow those Instructions listed below under IVP.

Lumbar Puncture Myelogram - Eat a light meal the evening before the exam.  Allow up to 10 hours for exam and post procedure observation.
  1. The day prior to your IVP eat a regular breakfast, lunch and a light dinner.
  2. At 5:30p.m. the evening before the exam, drink the entire bottle of magnesium citrate oral solution.  It's important to follow this with a lot of water as outlined in steps 3-7.
  3. At 6:00p.m. drink 8 oz. of water.
  4. At 7:00p.m. drink 8 oz. of water
  5. At 8:00p.m. drink 8 oz. of water
  6. At 9:00p.m. drink 8 oz. of water
  7. Do not drink or eat anything after midnight.
  8. On the day of the exam, do not eat or drink.


Abdomen - Nothing to eat or drink four (4) hours prior to exam.

Nucluear Medicine

Hepatobiliary - Nothing by mouth six hours before the exam.
Cardiolite ECT - No caffeine 24 hours prior (includes decaf) coffee, tea or chocolate. No dairy products after midnight the day before the exam.  Nothing to eat or drink four hours before exam.  Bring running shoes.
Thyroid Series: Uptake & Scan, Uptake Only - No thyroid medication for at least four weeks and no Iodine studies for 12 weeks prior to exam.  NPO for one hours after dosing.
Gastric Empty - NPO six hours.
Meckels - NPO four hours.


Abdomen (GB, Liver, Pancreas, Spleen) Renal Arterial Doppler, Porto-Hepatic Doppler, Mesenteric Arterial Doppler - Nothing to eat or drink after midnight the evening before the exam.
Pelvis - One and one-half before the exam.  Drink 32 oz. of water and DO NOT go to the bathroom.  Arrive with a full bladder.
Renal - Drink plenty of clear liquids throughout the day prior to the exam.  DO NOT void from 45 minutes prior to exam until exam is complete.