Computed Tomography Angiogram (CT Angiogram)
What To Think About continued...
If your doctor finds a major blockage in one of your
blood vessels during a CT angiogram, you won't be able to get an immediate
angioplasty to clear the blockage. You will need a
separate procedure. But if you have a standard angiogram and the doctor finds a
major blockage, he or she can perform an angioplasty during the
Certain things can make CT angiograms hard to read. For
example, a fast heart rate may make it hard to get a clear picture of the
coronary arteries. Or a large buildup of calcium may
show a narrowing of the arteries when there isn't one (false-positive)
or show that the arteries are fine when they are not (false-negative). But with a standard angiogram, these
things don't interfere with the test.
Another test, called a coronary calcium scan, also uses a CT scan to show how much calcium is in your coronary
arteries. This test is for people who have no symptoms of heart disease but may be at risk for getting it. To learn more, see the topic
Coronary Calcium Scan.
If your doctor suggests a CT
angiogram, you may want to ask what kind of scanner will be used. In most
cases, a 16– or 64–multi-slice (or multi-detector) CT scanner is used for the
CT angiogram. These scanners provide more detailed images of the blood vessels
and organs in less time than other imaging tests. But they may not be available
in all medical centers.
Einstein AJ, et al. (2007). Estimating risk of cancer associated with radiation exposure from 64-slice computed tomography coronary angiography. JAMA, 298(3): 317–323.
Other Works Consulted
Blankenstein R (2012). Introduction to noninvasive cardiac imaging. Circulation, 125(3): e267–e271.
Bluemke, D, et al. (2008). Noninvasive coronary artery imaging: Magnetic resonance angiography and multidetector computed tomography angiography. A scientific statement From the American Heart Association Committee on Cardiovascular Imaging and Intervention of the Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention, and the Councils on Clinical Cardiology and Cardiovascular Disease in t
Budoff M, et al. (2006). Assessment of coronary artery disease by cardiac computed tomography: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association Committee on Cardiovascular Imaging and Intervention, Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention, and Committee on Cardiac Imaging, Council on Clinical Cardiology. Circulation, 114(16): 1761–1791.
Einstein A. (2009). Radiation Protection of Patients Undergoing Cardiac Computed Tomographic Angiography. JAMA, 301(5): 545-547.
Mark DB, et al. (2010). ACCF/ACR/AHA/NASCI/SAIP/SCAI/SCCT 2010 expert consensus document on coronary computed tomographic angiography. Circulation, 121(22): 2509–2543.
Pagana KD, Pagana TJ (2010). Mosby’s Manual of Diagnostic and Laboratory Tests, 4th ed. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
Taylor AJ, et al. (2010). ACCF/SCCT/ACR/AHA/ASE/ASNC/NASCI/SCAI/SCMR 2010 – Appropriate use criteria for cardiac computed tomography. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 56(22): 1864–1894.