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
- 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