CT coronary angiography

CT Coronary AngiographyWhat is a CT coronary angiography?

A CT coronary angiogram is a test used to measure the blood flow through the coronary arteries, where an iodine-based dye is injected into the bloodstream to highlight the vessels.  The difference between this and the traditional angiogram is that the dye is injected through a small vein rather through an artery in your groin, making it less invasive.  You may also be required to take some medication that will slow down your heartbeat, for better quality images.How does it work? 

The scanner also produces very detailed 3D images of the whole body including moving organs, bone and blood vessels and can assist in the early diagnosis of many conditions thus allowing for rapid treatment. It also provides highly detailed images of blood vessels and the heart and is used for finding narrowing in coronary arteries and for ruling in or out significant heart disease and artery disease or congenital abnormalities.

Why do you need a CT coronary angiogram? 

Your consultant may ask you to take a CT coronary angiogram to determine whether there are plaque build-ups in your blood vessels, such as fat, cholesterol or calcium. These build-ups can obstruct the blood flow, sometimes completely.

Your consultant may request you to take the CT coronary angiography if: 

  • There is a suspected abnormality  in the anatomy of your coronary arteries
  • There is a low or moderate risk of coronary artery disease
  • You manifest non-acute chest pain
  • There are new or worsening symptoms of from a previous normal stress test
  • You have taken a stress test that has proven to be inconclusive or unclear
  • There’s  new onset heart failure and the consultant can’t be explain why

How does it work? 

It is recommended to wear comfortable clothes for the procedure. You will be asked to remove any metal objects including jewellery, glasses, dentures, hairpins, or removable hearing aids, anything that could affect the images.

You will be asked to not eat or drink anything a few hours before due to the use of contrast material. If you have any allergies or are taking any medication, please inform your consultant beforehand. The consultant may ask you to avoid taking on the day before the exam any diet pills or caffeinated drinks (coffee, sodas, tea, energy drinks) as they may increase heart rate and affect the exam. Also, Viagra or similar type medication should also be avoided.

The test requires you to lie on a narrow table that slides in and out of a large, box-type machine, called a scanner.  A computer station processes the images in a separate control room where the technician will operate and monitor the scanner, whilst being in direct visual contact and is able to hear and talk to you.

Our 64 slice scanner is capable of very rapid 2D scans of all areas of the body with scan widths down to 0.5 millimeter. This means there is minimised discomfort for our patients due to very short scanning times.

The scanner also produces very detailed 3D images of the whole body including moving organs, bone and blood vessels and can assist in the early diagnosis of many conditions thus allowing for rapid treatment. It also provides highly detailed images of blood vessels and the heart and is used for finding narrowings in coronary arteries and for ruling in or out significant heart disease and artery disease or congenital abnormalities.

In order to get high quality images you may be asked to hold your breath, because any movement can create a blur on the image and the result might prove inconclusive. If you have a problem with holding your breath please inform the consultant. 

The scanner also produces very detailed 3D images of the whole body including moving organs, bone and blood vessels and can assist in the early diagnosis of many conditions thus allowing for rapid treatment. It also provides highly detailed images of blood vessels and the heart and is used for finding narrowings in coronary arteries and for ruling in or out significant heart disease and artery disease or congenital abnormalities.

In order to get high quality images you may be asked to hold your breath, because any movement can create a blur on the image and the result might prove inconclusive. If you have a problem with holding your breath please inform the consultant. 

How safe is the exam?

The CT coronary angiogram is a minimally invasive procedure, relatively simple and painless. However, due to the use of radiation, it should only be carried out only when necessary. Also, rarely there is the possibility of the patient to have an allergic reaction to the contrast dye.

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