Neuroradiology CT

Neuroradiology CT provides diagnostic imaging and extremely detailed assessments of the brain and nervous system. Our board-certified neuroradiologists have advanced training and fellowship practice in imaging related to injuries and conditions affecting the head, brain, neck, spine and related structures. 

This field focuses on imaging of the head, neck and central nervous system, which includes the brain and spine. Washington Radiology’s team of board-certified radiologists have special training and expertise in diagnostic neuroradiology. Our radiologists work with neurologists and primary care physicians throughout the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia area to recommend the most effective imaging and evaluate for the presence of a variety of medical conditions, including back pain, trauma, stroke and vascular issues. 

Training and experience are important in choosing where to go for your imaging study. At Washington Radiology, neuroimaging studies are interpreted and reported by a board-certified neuroradiologist with the background training and certification to support this specialization. We conduct a high number of these exams and bring a collective expertise to every patient we see. This means a more definitive diagnosis to help accelerate follow-up treatments and interventions.

Most insurance plans require prior authorization for CT scans, regardless of history or condition associated with the exam purpose. We have a team of precertification specialists who will work with you and your insurance provider to obtain necessary medical history and notes from your referring physician to complete the precertification process. Precertification services are a courtesy that we offer patients to help with the paperwork needed to obtain your imaging care.

Preparing for Your Exam

Patient peace of mind starts with the right preparation. In addition to the written order from your physician, please bring any prior images or reports from outside Washington Radiology with you to your appointment, if related to the reason for your visit with us.

A list of locations where barium oral contrast and other exam preparations can be picked up is at the bottom of this page.  

Contrast Policy for CT Scans

Washington Radiology requires a creatinine lab result within 30 days before the CT scan for contrast patients who are 60 or older, are diabetic, take Metformin/any Metformin-drug combination, take medicine for high blood pressure, have kidney disease, have one kidney, have had kidney surgery, have had a kidney transplant, or are on dialysis. Please fax the creatinine lab result to Washington Radiology before your appointment.

CT Premedication Protocol for Patients with Allergies to Food or Non-Contrast Products

A two-drug pretreatment regimen is recommended to reduce the likelihood of an allergic reaction in patients requiring an IV contrast agent. This is necessary for your care if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any substance, medication or food that involved moderate-to-severe allergic reactions such as facial or body swelling, severe difficulty breathing, laryngeal edema, body hives/diffuse rash, profound drop in blood pressure, cardiopulmonary arrest, or other reactions that required hospitalization, ER treatment or the need to carry an EpiPen.

Premedication Regimen
  1. Medrol (Methylprednisolone) 32-milligram tablet. Take a dose 12 to 14 hours before your appointment, and another dose two hours before your appointment. If the Medrol strength per tablet is less than 32 milligrams, multiple tablets may be taken to equal 32 milligrams. We will provide a written prescription for Medrol, which can be picked up at any Washington Radiology office. We also can fax the prescription to your preferred pharmacy. Medrol is a corticosteroid. You must check with your referring physician before taking Medrol.
  2. Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) 50-milligram liquid or tablet. Take a dose one hour before your appointment. Benadryl is available over the counter and no prescription is needed. 
You may consume the following clear liquids four hours before your CT scan:
  • Water
  • Coffee or tea (with sugar, but with no cream, milk and artificial whitener) 
  • Clear soft drinks
  • Consommé, or other clear soups that are strained
  • Clear fruit juices with no pulp, including apple, cranberry, grape and orange juice. 

IMPORTANT: Do not consume dairy products, Jell-O or solid food four hours before your appointment. Doing so may require rescheduling your appointment.

CT Scan with IV Contrast

Four hours before your exam, drink only clear liquids.

CT Scan of the Abdomen, Abdomen/Pelvis or Pelvis with IV Contrast and Barium Oral Contrast
  • Please arrive 30 minutes before your appointment. 
  • Oral contrast may be refrigerated, but do not add water or ice.

Morning Appointments:

  • At 9:00 p.m. the night before your examination, drink half a bottle of barium.
  • Four hours before your exam, drink only clear liquids.
  • Two hours before your exam, drink the remaining half of the bottle of barium.

Afternoon Appointments:

  • At 8:00 a.m. the day of your exam, drink half a bottle of barium.
  • Four hours before your exam, drink only clear liquids
  • Two hours before your exam, drink the remaining half of the bottle of barium.

Preparation Pickup

Washington Radiology preparations may be picked up at the following locations between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please bring your written order to pick up your preparation. 

  • 2141 K St. NW., Suite 900, Washington, D.C., 20037
  • 10215 Fernwood Road, Suite 103, Bethesda, MD, 20817
  • 4445 Willard Ave., Suite 200, Chevy Chase, MD, 20815
  • 12505 Park Potomac Ave., Suite 120, Potomac, MD, 20854
  • 3022 Williams Drive, Suite 200, Fairfax, VA, 22031
  • 21351 Ridgetop Circle, Suite 100, Sterling, VA, 20166

If you have follow-up questions about the CT scan preparations, contact the Washington Radiology office where your exam is scheduled and ask to speak with the nurse.

Our Locations


Chevy Chase, MD


4445 Willard Avenue
Suite 200
Chevy Chase, MD 20815

Washington, DC


2141 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037

Sterling, VA


21351 Ridgetop Circle
Sterling, VA 20166