CT Coronary Angiography: What To Expect

A CT coronary angiography is a non-invasive imaging test that looks at the arteries that supply blood to your heart. It checks for any narrowing or blockage in your heart. If you are having a CT coronary angiography, here is what to expect.

Facts About A CT Coronary Angiography

A computerized tomography combines a CT scan with a dye injection. It records pictures of your heart via a dye injected into the arm to highlight any blockages of coronary arteries. It’s a type of X-ray that uses a computer to make multiple cross sectional images. This test is used for many reasons, but primarily to diagnose coronary artery disease.

Hand holding mouse with blur Computed Tomography Angiography

Reasons Why You Might Need A CT Coronary Angiogram

This test may help prevent a stroke or heart attack, and Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center may recommend this test for the following reasons:

  • If you have pain in your arms, left shoulder, neck, jaw, back, or stomach
  • If you have arrhythmia
  • If you are having difficulty breathing
  • If you are experiencing lightheadedness or dizziness
  • If you have nausea or vomiting
  • If you are sweating
  • If you are experiencing long term indigestion or heartburn

If you are experiencing any combination of these symptoms, seek medical attention.

What To Expect Before A CT Coronary Angiography

You will be instructed not to eat or drink for at least 3 hours prior to the procedure, especially no caffeine like coffee, tea, chocolate, and even herbal tea, as these products can increase your heart rate. Drink only clear liquids.

Expect you will need a friend or relative to accompany you. You may be given medication to slow your heart rate. Wear loose comfortable clothing and bring no jewelry or any metals. Remove hearing aids and dentures with metal.

You will change into a hospital gown.

What To Expect During the Procedure

Once you are in the procedure room, a specialist will place a cannula in your arm for the contrast dye to be injected.

  • You will lie on the CT scanning table that slides underneath the CT machine.
  • You will be connected to a heart monitor so Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center can watch your heart rate and rhythm throughout.
  • You will need to hold your breath for 10 seconds as each picture is taken. In addition, you must remain completely still during the test.
  • There is no pain or discomfort.

What To Expect After The CT Coronary Angiography

When the test is complete, you will move into a recovery room, and the cannula will be removed from your arm. When you are feeling fine, you are released to go home.

You will make several follow up appointments to review the findings. At that time, your physician will recommend treatment options if there are any blockages.

Your individual physician will provide you with detailed instructions if you are scheduled for a CT coronary angiography that may vary slightly.

Contact Southwest Diagnostic Imaging Center at (214) 345-6905 if you are scheduled for a CT Coronary Angiography and have additional questions or concerns.

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