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CT Angiogram

 What is a CT angiogram?
 When is it used?
 How do I prepare for this procedure?
 What happens during the procedure?
 What happens after the procedure?
 What are the risks of this procedure?

What is a CT angiogram?

A CT angiogram, also called computed tomography angiogram, is a special type of X-ray test. X-rays are taken from different angles after dye is injected into a vein, and a computer puts the X-ray pictures together to create detailed views of the heart.

When is it used?

This scan may be done to:

How do I prepare for this procedure?

What happens during the procedure?

You will be given an injection of a contrast dye through an IV. The dye helps the blood vessels show up on the scan.

You will lie down on a moving table that will slide into the scanner. The CT scanner is a large machine with a tunnel in the center. Inside the scanner, many X-ray beams are passed very quickly through your body at different angles. You will need to stay still during the scan so that the pictures will not be blurry. Images of your blood vessels will be seen on a computer screen and prepared for your healthcare provider to examine later.

Because of the small, enclosed space, some people get anxious. If you start feeling panicky or are having other problems, the scan may be stopped. Your healthcare provider may give you medicine to help you relax before and during the scan.

What happens after the procedure?

Usually, you can go home soon after the test. If you were given medicine to help you relax, you will be watched carefully until you are fully awake and alert. This may take 15 minutes to 2 hours.

If you were given dye for the scan, drink lots of fluids after the scan to help your body get rid of the dye.

Ask your healthcare provider:

Make sure you know when you should come back for a checkup. Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.

What are the risks of this procedure?

Every procedure or treatment has risks. Some possible risks of this scan include:

Ask your healthcare provider how these risks apply to you. Be sure to discuss any other questions or concerns that you may have.

healthinformatics info


Coronary Artery Calcification on CT Scanning. Author: J Bayne Selby Jr, MD; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD. Medscape. Accessed 3/24/2014 from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/352189-overview#a1

Ultrafast CT Screening of the Heart.Radiology Regional Center. Accessed 3/24/2014 from


Ultrafast CT (Computed Tomography) Scan. Johns Hopkins Health Library. Accessed 3/26/2014 from http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/radiology/ultrafast_ct_computed_tomography_scan_85,P01281/

Budoff MJ, Achenbach S, Blumenthal RS, et al. 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 2006; 114:1761.

Mark DB, Berman DS, Budoff MJ, et al. ACCF/ACR/AHA/NASCI/SAIP/SCAI/SCCT 2010 expert consensus document on coronary computed tomographic angiography: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Task Force on Expert Consensus Documents. Catheter Cardiovasc Interv 2010; 76:E1.

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Last Modified: 2015-03-01

Last Reviewed: 2014-06-10

Website Updated: August 2015

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Published by RelayHealth. © 2014 RelayHealth and/or one of its affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.

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