Outpatient procedure is less invasive than traditional test
A computed tomography angiogram (CT angiogram or CTA) is a test that uses sophisticated technology and software to provide images of the blood vessels that go to the heart, lung, brain, kidneys, head, neck, legs, and arms. At Main Street Radiology, CTA is most commonly used to study the aorta (the main artery leading to the heart) and blood vessels supplying the lungs and kidneys.
A CT angiogram can show narrowed or blocked areas of a blood vessel. It can also show any aneurysms (a bulge or weak spot) or a build-up of fatty material called plaque in a blood vessel.
In the past, these conditions have been diagnosed with a traditional angiogram, which consists of placing a catheter - or tube - directly into the artery being studied. A CTA is less invasive. It requires only an iodine-based contrast dye to be injected into the arm.
With the advent of multi-detector CT, faster scanners with higher resolution can capture detailed images of image smaller vessels, including the arteries of the brain and extremities. At Main Street Radiology, our 16-detector CT and advanced software generates 3D images of arteries that provide highly accurate assessments of a patient's blood vessels.
What to Expect
A CTA is an outpatient procedure. The patient lies on a table that passes through a doughnut-shaped opening in the scanner. Using an IV tube and needle, a special dye is put in a vein in your arm or hand to make the blood vessels easier to see on the scan.
Although the actual scanning portion of the test may take less than a minute, the entire process, including preparation, may take up to an hour.