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CT Angiography of Heart

ct angiography of heart

A computerized tomography coronary angiogram or CT angiography of heart is an imaging test that looks into the arteries that supply heart with blood. Although CT coronary angiography checks heart for various conditions but primarily it is used to look for nay narrowed arteries or blockages in the heart (coronary artery disease).

Why It Is Done

A CT coronary angiogram is done to look for

  • Narrowing or blockage in the coronary arteries due to build-up of fat (cholesterol) (known as plaque) and calcium in the arteries.
  • Build-up of fluid around the heart & damage or injury in the heart valves
  • Bulge (aneurysm) in the aorta

What it detects

A CT angiogram can detect if a blood vessel is blocked, where the blockage exactly is and how big it is. It also shows whether there is a bulge (aneurysm) or a build-up of fatty material (plaque) in heart’s blood vessels.

Why CT Coronary Angiography is preferred

There are several benefits of this procedure

  • Non-invasive procedure
  • Lower risk of complications
  • Available in outpatient setting
  • Lower cost to patient
  • Less time consuming


During a CT coronary angiogram, the person to be examined is made to lie on a table that passes through a doughnut-shaped opening in the scanner. A special dye (known as contrast material) is put in a vein (IV) in the arm. The person is asked to hold breath and the table will move into the scanner.

Then the pictures are taken of the heart and coronary arteries in quick succession, in layers/slices. It is pain-free procedure and takes approximately 10 minutes.


  • Diabetics are asked to stop taking the Metformin on the day of CT scan and the following 24 hours
  • Fasting for 4 hours before the test is suggested
  • Before the test, the person is asked to change in a loose gown
  • No caffeine, alcohol, nicotine or any other stimulants 12 hours prior to the test


CT angiogram has some contraindications to it when it cannot be performed, such as

  • Pregnancy
  • Breast feeding
  • Allergic to any medicines, including iodine dye
  • Have a heart condition, such as heart failure
  • Have a history of kidney problems
  • Have asthma
  • Have multiple myeloma
  • Claustrophobia nervousness or fear in small spaces

To live healthy & happy, one must keep a check on the body’s functioning by going for regular health checkups. This helps in assessing risk factors and diagnosing diseases at an early stage, which will result in effective treatment and better management of the condition.

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