CT Anigography includes Cardiac Computed Tomography Angiogram or Coronary CT Angiography (MSCT, CT, cardiac CT, coronary CTA or cardiac CAT scan).
A traditional CT scan is an X-ray procedure that combines many X-ray images with the aid of a computer to generate cross-sectional views of the body. Cardiac CT uses the advanced CT technology with intravenous (IV) contrast (dye) to visualize your cardiac anatomy, coronary circulation and great vessels. It also evaluates:
- the heart muscle
- the coronary arteries
- the thoracic aorta
- the sac around the heart (pericardium)
What is it for?
A Coronary CTA is a heart-imaging test currently undergoing rapid development and evaluation for non-invasively determining whether either fatty deposits or calcium deposits have built up in the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart muscle.
If left untreated, these areas of build-up, called plaques, can cause heart muscle disease. Heart muscle disease, in turn, can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain and/or heart attack.
How does it work?
A Coronary CTA comes from a special type of X-ray examination. Patients undergoing a Coronary CTA scan receive an iodine-containing contrast dye as an IV solution to ensure the best images possible. Oral medication may be given to slow or stabilize the patient’s heart rate for better imaging results.
During the examination (which usually takes about 15 minutes), X-rays pass through the body and are picked up by special detectors in the scanner. Typically higher numbers — especially 16 or more of these detectors — result in more clear final images. For that reason, Coronary CTA often is referred to as “multi-detector” or “multi-slice” CT scanning. The information collected during the Coronary CTA examination is used to identify the coronary arteries and, if present, plaques in their walls with the creation of 3D images on a computer screen.
Scheduling your procedure
The Center for Advanced Surgery & Technology (CASAT) at CHRISTUS Mother Frances Hospital supports partnerships with patients and their primary physicians in its delivery of advanced non-invasive imaging.
Once Coronary CTA is deemed appropriate and safe for a patient, the examination may be scheduled by the patient or primary physician by calling Physician-1-Call at (903) 531-4700.