Coronary CTA

What is a coronary CTA?
A CT scan (computed tomography) is a special type of x-ray that allows a doctor to better see what is happening inside your body. Coronary CT angiography (CTA) is a special technique which can help your doctor diagnose narrowing of the major (large) coronary arteries without having to undergo an invasive procedure (for example, cardiac cath).

How long will it take?
Total time: 1 hour
Scan time: 15 minutes - 1 hour

How do I prepare for my coronary CTA?
Please do not eat or drink for 4 hours prior to your procedure. You can have:

  • no products containing caffeine 18 hours prior to exam
  • no decongestants 24 hours prior to exam
  • no nicotine products 24 hours prior to exam

You may be given a medicine to temporarily lower your heart rate during the procedure.

Will it hurt?
No, the scanner will never touch you. You will be asked to lie on a table in a certain position. The technologist will make you as comfortable as possible.

What happens during the coronary CTA?
It will be necessary to inject x-ray dye, or IV contrast, into your vein during the procedure. This will help the radiologist view the arteries in your heart better. You may experience a hot flush feeling when the contrast is being administered. You will also be hooked up to an EKG. During the procedure, you will be asked to lie very still and hold their breath for a short time as the scanner is taking pictures.

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