What is CT angiography?
CT Angiography (CTA) is a safe outpatient procedure that uses specially designed x-rays and intravenous contrast to see the detailed anatomy of the blood vessels throughout the body. It is most frequently utilized in the evaluation of arteries in the head, neck, chest, abdomen and legs.
Why is CT angiography an excellent alternative to catheter angiography?
While standard catheter angiography is still considered the gold standard for diagnosing arterial disease, it does require arterial access with catheter placement and its slight risk as well as a post-procedural recovery for up to six hours. Compared to catheter angiography, CTA is a less invasive and a more patient-friendly procedure. Although contrast is injected through an artery in catheter angiography, CTA contrast is injected into a vein which is technically less difficult and has a very low risk of complications. As a result, the patients typically leave immediately following the procedure and can resume normal activities.
How is the procedure preformed?
After obtaining IV access, you will be placed on the CT scanning table and given intravenous contrast while the CT scanner acquires pictures of the area of interest. Most people experience a temporary warming sensation while the contrast goes in which dissipates rapidly. The IV is removed and your scan is complete. The real work of CTA comes after the images are acquired, when our radiologists utilize powerful 3D computer workstations to process the images and evaluate the source data and create real anatomic displays of the vessels.
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