What is CT Angiography?

A CT Angiogram is a scan that provides detailed imaging of blood vessels that connects with the heart, lungs, kidney etc. It can show narrowing, blockage, aneurysms (bulge) or plaques (fatty deposits) in these blood vessels which may lead to heart diseases. It is better than a normal Angiogram since there is no need to insert any catheter in the body. It is completely non-invasive.

Why have I been asked to get a CT Angiography done?

A CT Angiography is performed to:
  • Detect any blockage in the heart arteries or vessels
  • Evaluate any narrow arteries in the heart
  • Detecting fat buildup blocking any arteries and obstructing blood flow to the heart. This buildup is called a plaque
  • Determine any heart injury or problem such as  pericarditis (a buildup of fluid around the heart)
  • Detecting blood clots
  • Detecting signs of tumor
  • Detecting a tear in the aorta, which is a large blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body.

 

How can I prepare for the scan?

  • When you schedule your CT contrast scan, you will be asked for your detailed medical history including all the medicines you are taking. Tell your doctor if you could be pregnant and/or are lactating. 
  • You will receive detailed instructions on how to prepare. Since a contrast material will be used, you will need to fasting for a minimum of four to six hours. You can only drink sips of water if really needed. It is recommended that you come with one relative to help you during the course of the scan.
  • Wear comfortable clothing and avoid jewellery or any other metal on the body.

 

Previous reports/scans required?

  • Your entire current medical file and prescription set to be aware of your medical conditions and any sort of allergies.
  • Your previous CT/ USG reports are required
  • Your previous angiography reports are required
  • You need to share details of any surgeries/procedures/biopsies and the reports.
  • Serum Creatinine reports(not older than 4 weeks) are required to check for the health of your kidneys in case we need to use contrast media to get better images during the scan. The values help us decide on the type of contrast media to be used.

How long is the procedure for?

  • Total time – 2 -3hrs approx.
  • Patient history/consent:  5-10min
  • Medicine preparation & injection: 10-15 min
  • Waiting time after injection – 1-2mins
  • On table time -15- 20 mins 
  • Scan time: 15-20 mins
  • Observation time post scan – 5-10 mins

How is the CT Angiography done?

The process you will follow when you go for a CT Angiography is as follows:
  • If a contrast dye is used, it will be given to you by mouth (oral contrast) or injected into a vein in your arm (intravenous). 
  • Before the test, you will need to change into a hospital gown and remove any jewellery or metal objects that you are wearing.
  • You will be taken into the scanning room. If you have been given oral contrast, you will need to wait for about 45 to 60 minutes before being taken to the scanning room. This waiting time is needed for the contrast to move through your digestive tract.
  • Your doctor might give you a medication called a ‘beta blocker’ to slow your heart rate this enables the scan to produce a clearer image. 
  • Let your health care provider be aware of any side effects you had in the past from beta blockers
  • You might also be given nitroglycerin to widen (dilate) your coronary arteries. 
  • If you’re allergic to contrast material, you might be given medication to lower your risk of a reaction.
  • The CT scanning machine is shaped like a doughnut. You will be made to lie on the imaging bed. The helper will place electrodes on your chest to record your heart rate. After you have been positioned properly, the helper leaves the scanning room. The technician present in the control room can see you through a glass window. If there is no visibility to the scanning room from the control room patients are fully monitored through closed circuit television screen. The technician communicates with you through an intercom.
  • The bed is moved slowly through the scanner. The X-ray machine will rotate around you and produce several images of thin slices of your body. You will need to lie very still while the images are being captured. 
  • When needed, the technician will instruct you to hold your breath for several seconds so that you remain still. The scanning takes about 15-20 minutes on the scanning table.
  • After which you will be kept under observation to monitor any allergic reaction 
  • Sometimes, a delayed scan/re-scan may be required at times. 
  • The images created during the scan will be reviewed by the radiologist.

Can I walk in for a CT Angiography without prior appointment?

It’s better to get an appointment for the scan since some preparation is necessary on your part.
For appointment call 8869906990 or write at contact@medcarediagnostics.com