Cardiac CT Scan Angiography (CCTA)
What is a cardiac CT scan angiography?
A CT scan is a special computer that makes detailed pictures of your internal organs and bones through the use of x-rays. A cardiac CT scan angiography looks at the structures and blood vessels of the heart. This test provides images that show blockages in the blood vessels, the shapes of the chambers and other parts of the heart, and into the walls of the blood vessels.
Who may have the test?
The patients who will be good candidates for the test are those with:
- Symptoms of decreased blood flow to the heart (ischemia).
- A stress test result that did not rule out problems.
- A sudden onset of heart symptoms (often seen in the Emergency Department).
- Known or possible heart defects.
- A newly diagnosed weak heart muscle (cardiomyopathy)
- Problems with the covering around the heart (pericardium).
- A need for a pacemaker or an atrial ablation procedure.
Who should not have the test?
The patients who should not have this test include
- Women who are pregnant.
- Patients with abnormal kidney function.
- Patients with irregular heart rates or very fast heart rates.
- Patients who cannot lie flat or hold their breath for up to 20 seconds.
What should I do to prepare for the test?
- If you have diabetes, speak with the nurse to find out when you should take your diabetes medicine.
- If you take a diuretic (water pill), do not take it the morning of the test.
- Do not eat for 4 hours before the test. You may drink water.
- If you take medicine to slow your heart rate, take them as you normally do.
How is the test done?
- Arrive at the time you were given. Go to the ________________________________.
- You will be taken to the prep area where you will be connected to a heart monitor. A nurse will place an intravenous (IV) line into your vein.
- You will be taken to the scanner room.
- You will lie on the CT table. The IV will be connected to the contrast injector.
- Heart images without contrast are taken for a calcium evaluation.
- You will receive a small dose of contrast dye. The time it takes for the contrast to get to the heart will be measured.
- The dose of contrast in is injected and the images are taken.
How long will the test take?
You will be at the hospital for about 2 hours. The actual time for the test is 10 to 20 minutes.
How do I get my test results?
In all cases, the results of the CCTA will be sent to the doctor who ordered the test. We may be able to give you a brief result after the test.
Where can I get more information about this test?
You may find more information at this website.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 09/25/2012
Copyright © 09/25/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6938
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