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CT Angiography

CT Angiography (CTA) uses a CT scanner to screen for arterial disease. CTA is a less invasive alternative to traditional angiograms (which require a catheter to be placed into an artery). The procedure produces detailed images of vascular structures, including arteries of the head and neck, as well as those bringing blood to the heart, lungs, kidneys, arms and legs.

Your doctor may recommend a CTA if he or she suspects a narrowing or obstruction in your arteries, an aneurysm, a deep vein thrombosis, a pulmonary embolism or another vascular condition. Information from this test is used to learn more about your condition and to decide the best way to treat you.

What You Need To Know

  • Coronary CT angiograms are an option for people with a variety of heart conditions.
  • Your doctor may recommend this test if you have an abnormality that involves the blood vessels of your brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, or other parts of your body.
  • If you are allergic to IV contrast, you will need to be pre-medicated prior to the exam.
  • If you have kidney problems or diabetes we will run a blood test prior to the scan to make sure you are a healthy enough for the IV contrast.
  • Our clinical teams are committed to capturing high-quality diagnostic images using the appropriate amount of radiation for you. While you are exposed to radiation during a CT exam, the benefits typically outweigh the long-term risks.
  • Be sure to tell us if you are pregnant, nursing, or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.

What To Expect

  • We’ll give you a call before your appointment to talk through preparation instructions and your past imaging exams.
  • This exam requires contrast, we’ll discuss any special requirements with you prior to your appointment.
  • Be sure to tell us if you are pregnant, nursing, or if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
  • On the day of your exam, please arrive 15 minutes early for check-in. If instructed to do so, please bring prior imaging results with you.
  • When you arrive, you will be led to a changing room and given a pair of scrubs to wear for your exam. You will be given a locker to store your clothes, and anything else you may have with you during your exam.
  • The technologist will help position you onto the scanner table and an IV will be placed in your arm or hand to administer contrast which will enhance the images of your blood vessels captured by the CT. When the contrast is administered, it is normal to feel a warm, flush sensation or temporary metallic taste in your mouth.
  • Once you are comfortably positioned, the technologist will go out of the room to run the scanner from a computer located directly next to the scanner suite, visible through the viewing window. The technologist will communicate with you throughout the exam and check to see how you are doing.
  • When your scan is complete, you’ll be escorted back to the changing room so you can change out of the scrubs and back into your clothing.
  • Once you have changed, your appointment is complete. You do not need to check out with the front desk when you leave.
  • After the exam, your images will be sent electronically to a radiologist who will review the information and send a report to your referring provider, typically within one to two business days.
  • You should follow up with your referring provider to discuss your results.

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