A CT coronary angiography is a scan to view the coronary arteries and chambers of the heart. A contrast dye is used to assist during this scan.
A CT scanner is a circular machine that uses low dose radiation x-rays to produce images of various part of your body. Lying on a movable platform you will be moved into the machine along a track to the correct position for the area to be scanned.
The purpose of CT coronary angiography is to review the heart for any evidence of fat or calcium deposits, narrowing of the arteries and to overall assess the function of the muscle and valves of the heart.
Ahead of your CT coronary angiography you will be asked to fill in a questionnaire and sign a consent.
Of greatest importance you will need to identify;
- If you have had an adverse reaction to a contrast before
- If you have any drug allergies
- If you have any renal impairment
- If you could be pregnant
- If you are breastfeeding
- If you have diabetes
You will need to fast for 4 hours prior to your scan and you will be asked to arrive 1 hour before your scan appointment time.
If you have diabetes, your appointment time will be organised to impact as little as possible as you will be required to fast for this procedure.
You will be asked to bring along copies of your latest blood test results that demonstrate your creatinine levels.
During the hour prior to your CT coronary angiography you will be asked your medical history and to complete some required paperwork.
Your heart rate will be checked, and if it is above 60 beats a minute, you will be given a beta blocker medication to lower it for the purposes of the test.
You will be asked to change into a gown, and have a cannula inserted so the contrast can be administered.
Once the contrast is in your system and your heart rate is within the require range the CT coronary angiography will begin.
During the procedure you may be asked to hold your breath as the scans are taken.
It is best to allow about 2 hours for your CT coronary angiography.
This time include all the preparation, scanning and recovery.
If you were given beta blockers for the procedure, your blood pressure and heart rate will be monitored to ensure they are normal prior to your departure.
You may receive some post exam instructions to follow after the CT coronary angiography.
It is important to drink plenty of fluids after the procedure.
Your CT coronary angiography results will be reviewed by a specialist and the report will be sent to your referring doctor. It is best to make an appointment with them to follow up on the results.
The CT coronary angiography test is not painful. However, some people find the test mildly uncomfortable.