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Denton, MD
A 32-year-old female asked:

A recent non-contrast ct of the abdomen/pelvis said, "there is likely some retained oral contrast in the colon." i never had contrast. what is it?

3 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Peter Baiocco
44 years experience
Oral contrast: Most ct scans of the abdomen and pelvis are done with both IV and oral contrast. If you had oral contrast then that's what it likely is.
Dr. Bruce J. Stringer
Radiology 48 years experience
Something you ate: If you did not drink any oral contrast for the procedure then things like pepto bismol or milk of magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) may show up. Iron supplements can also show up.
Dr. Ryan Polselli
Radiology 16 years experience
One possibility: It is probably something you ingested that has a radiopaque component that mimicks the oral contrast that we administer. For example, one common cause is recent ingestion of pepto-bismol (because the bismuth is a metal), but there are others. I wouldn't be concerned, but if i were you i would be curious too. I hope this helps.
Last updated Jun 10, 2014


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