Computed Tomography Angiogram (CT Angiogram)
computed tomography angiogram (CT angiogram) is a test
X-rays to provide detailed pictures of the heart and
the blood vessels that go to the heart, lung, brain, kidneys, head, neck, legs,
A CT angiogram can show whether a blood vessel is
blocked, where the blockage is, and how big the blockage is. The test can also
show whether there is a bulge (aneurysm) or a buildup of fatty
plaque in a blood vessel.
During a CT
angiogram, you lie on a table that passes through a doughnut-shaped opening in
the scanner. A special dye (contrast material) is put in a vein
(IV) in your arm or hand to make the blood vessels
easier to see on the scan. If you are having a CT angiogram to look at your
heart and the blood vessels that go to it (coronary arteries), you may be given a medicine called a
beta-blocker to slow your heart rate during the
Why It Is Done
A CT angiogram is done to look
- A narrowing (stenosis) or blockage in the coronary arteries. This
can occur when there is a buildup of fat (cholesterol)
and calcium in the arteries. This buildup is called plaque.
problems, such as
pericarditis (a buildup of fluid around the heart) and
damage or injury to the heart valves.
- A bulge (aneurysm) or tear
(dissection) in the
aorta, which is a large blood vessel that carries
blood from the heart to the rest of the body.
- A blood clot in the
lungs (pulmonary embolism).
- A narrowing of the
veins in the leg (deep vein thrombosis).
- An abnormal pattern
of blood vessels that may be a sign of a tumor.
A CT angiogram is a less invasive test than a standard
angiogram. A standard angiogram involves threading a thin tube called a
catheter through an artery in your arm or leg up to the area being studied. But
with a CT angiogram, no tubes are put in your body. For more information, see
the medical test