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Computed Tomography Angiogram (CT Angiogram)

How To Prepare continued...

You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for several hours before the test. Your doctor will let you know if there are certain foods or liquids you should avoid.

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).

How It Is Done

A CT angiogram is usually done by a radiology technologist. The pictures are usually read by a radiologist. But some other types of doctors may also review the test results.

Before the test

  • Take off any jewelry and any other metal objects.
  • Take off all or most of your clothes. You will be given a gown to wear during the test.

During the test

  • You will lie very still on a table that is attached to the CT scanner.
  • A dye (contrast material) will be put in a vein in your arm or hand. 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 test.
  • The table will slide into the round opening of the scanner and move slightly while the scanner takes pictures. You may hear a click or buzz as the table and scanner move.
  • The technologist may ask you to hold your breath for a few seconds at a time.
  • You may be alone in the scanning room. But the technologist will watch you through a window. You will be able to talk to him or her through an intercom.

A CT angiogram usually takes 30 to 60 minutes but could take up to 2 hours.

After the test

Drink plenty of fluids for 24 hours after the test to help flush the dye out of your body.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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