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CT Angiography

CT Angiography

What is CT Angiography?

CT (computed tomography) angiography (CTA) is an examination that uses x-rays to visualize blood flow in arterial and venous vessels throughout the body, from arteries serving the brain to those bringing blood to the kidneys, lungs, or extremeties. CT combines the use of x-rays with computerized analysis of the images. Beams of x-rays are passed from a rotating device through the area of interest in the patient's body from different angles to create cross-sectional images, which then are assembled by computer into a three-dimensional image of the area being studied. Compared to catheter angiography which involves introducing a sizable catheter at the groin site and injecting contrast material into a central artery or vein, CTA is a less invasive, more patient-friendly procedure—contrast material is simply injected into a small peripheral IV.

This type of exam has been used to screen large numbers of individuals for arterial disease, identifying arterial aneurysms and detecting venous thrombosis (clots). CTA can also detect narrowing or complete obstruction of arteries in virtually any part of the body.

How do I prepare for a CTA scan?

If you have a known allergy to iodine or iodinated IV contrast (dye), please call the facility where your examination is scheduled, and ask to speak with one of the radiology nurses at least one day before your CT scan. For CT studies in which you will receive either IV or oral contrast, please do not eat or drink anything except for the oral liquid contrast for 3 hours prior to the study.

In addition, if you have diabetes, known kidney problems, or asthma requiring daily use of an inhaler, please contact the facility where your examination is scheduled at least one day in advance, and ask to speak with one of our radiology nurses.

When will my doctor get the test results?

Our radiologists look at all of you CTA images and compare the study with any previous exams you may have had. Our typed report is available to your doctor usually within one day.


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