- You will be asked to lie on a table that slides into the center of the scanner. Depending on the study being performed, you may need to lie on your stomach, back, or side. If contrast dye is to be administered, an IV will be placed in a small vein of a hand or arm.
- Much like standard photographic cameras, any motion you make causes blurred images in CT. Therefore, the CT technologist will give you instructions through an intercom on when to hold your breath and not move.
- As the exam takes place, the table will advance small intervals through the scanner. Modern “spiral” scanners can perform the exam in one continuous motion. Generally, complete scans will only take a few minutes. However, additional contrast-enhanced or higher-resolution scans will add to the scan time.
- You may be asked to drink contrast before the CT scan depending on which exam your doctor has prescribed. Our scheduling department will give you specific instructions if this is the case.
- Since x-rays have difficulty passing through metal, the patient will be asked to remove jewelry and change into our comfortable scrubs during the study.
CT angiography is a type of medical exam that combines a CT scan with an injection of a contrast media to produce pictures of blood vessels and tissues in a part of your body. The contrast is injected through an intravenous (IV) line started in your arm or hand.
A computerized tomography scan, or CT scan, is a type of X-ray that uses a computer to make cross-sectional images of your body. The media injected to perform CT angiography is called a contrast material because it “lights up” blood vessels and tissues that are being studied.
You may need this medical test if you have an abnormality that involves the blood vessels of your brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, or other parts of your body. Doctors may use the information from this test to learn more about your condition and to decide the best way to treat you. Some reasons to have a CT angiogram include:
- To find an aneurysm< (a blood vessel that has become enlarged and may be in danger of rupturing)
- To find blood vessels that have become narrowed by atherosclerosis (fatty material that forms plaques in the walls of arteries)
- To find abnormal blood vessel formations inside your brain
- To identify blood vessels damaged by injury
- To find blood clots that may have formed in your leg veins and traveled into your lungs.
- To evaluate a tumor that is fed by blood vessels
Information from CT angiography may help prevent a stroke or a heart attack. This type of test may also help your doctor plan cancer treatment or prepare you for a kidney transplant. Your doctor may have other reasons for ordering this test.
- CT provides rapid, detailed cross-sectional imaging of the patient which can then be reconstructed into three-dimensional models, as needed. Intravenous contrast enhanced scans allow for evaluation of vascular structures and further evaluation of masses and tumors.
- CT is often utilized in the trauma setting to evaluate the brain, chest, and abdomen. As well, CT can be used to guide interventional procedures, such as biopsies and placement of drainage tubes.