A computerized tomography (CT) coronary angiogram is a noninvasive imaging test that looks at the arteries that supply blood to your heart. A CT coronary angiogram relies on a powerful X-ray machine to produce images of your heart and its blood vessels.
A coronary CT angiogram can check your heart for various conditions, but it’s primarily just to check for narrowed or blocked arteries in your heart (coronary artery disease). CT angiography is used to find an aneurysm, blood vessels that have become narrowed by atherosclerosis, abnormal blood vessel formations inside your brain, blood vessels damaged by injury, blood clots that may have formed in your leg veins and traveled to your lungs, or evaluate if a tumor is fed by blood vessels. Information from CT angiography may help prevent a stroke or a heart attack.
The amount of radiation used during a CT angiography is considered minimal, so the risk for radiation exposure is low. No radiation remains in your body after the CT scan. Other risks could be an allergic reaction to contrast material. If you are breastfeeding, you will need to wait for 24 hours after this test before nursing your baby. If you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant you should notify your health care provider. There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss concerns with our health care provider or radiology technologist prior to the test.
Depending on what body area is being scanned, the test may last for about 20 minutes or up to an hour.
After the test is complete the IV will be removed. You may have a short wait while the technician ensures they have all of the needed images. In most cases, you can return to all of your normal activities. A credentialed physician will review your results and enter them into your electronic medical record. Your primary physician will then be notified of the results. The testing staff will be unable to provide you with your results.