CT Coronary Angiogram (CTCA) is the most sensitive non-invasive test for detecting Coronary Artery Disease, using multi-slice Computed Tomography (CT) technology to examine the blood vessels that supply the heart muscle.This examination provides valuable information for your doctor, detecting if plaque has developed in the coronary arteries that may result in blockages, potentially causing symptoms or increasing your risk of heart attack. It is especially useful in determining whether the coronary arteries are the cause of symptoms such as current chest discomfort or shortness of breath.
You are required to fast for 2 hours prior to your examination. Please do not have anything to eat, drink, smoke or chew during the fasting period.
Please continue your regular medication as normal. However please inform us if you are taking any diabetic medication, have kidney disease or have had a previous reaction to imaging contrast.
You will need to avoid any caffeine and smoking 24 hours prior to exam and cease exercise on the day of the examination. You will be given a beta-blocker drug upon presentation to our practice, to slow the heart and keep it at a steady beat, prior to imaging.
You will be required to remove all clothing from above the waist and asked to change into a gown.
ECG leads will be placed onto the chest to allow monitoring of the heart rate during the examination. A small plastic IV catheter is placed into a vein of your arm. A syringe filled with contrast is placed in a mechanical pressure injector and attached to the catheter. A spray of GTN (angina medication) will be delivered under the tongue to dilate the heart arteries.
You will lie on a table which is slowly moved into the doughnut shaped CT unit. Housed within the CT is an x-ray tube which rotates around you. Detectors capture the x-rays passing through the examined area for the computer to interpret into images. You may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds during the scan.
The injection process will then start. Most people experience a temporary warming sensation when the contrast is administered. This dissipates quickly. Scanning takes place at a time where the optimal visualisation of the arteries can be achieved.
You will be monitored after the examination is complete. The time required may vary, but may be up to two hours.
Patients typically can resume normal activities following this procedure Our Radiologist will review the images and issue a report. Once completed, the report will be sent electronically to your referring health professional.
You will receive a small dose of x-ray radiation.
This examination is not suitable for pregnant women. Breastfeeding mothers may undergo the procedure but will need to cease breastfeeding for 12 hours after the scan. Breast milk should be expressed and discarded during this period. Breast feeding may resume after the 12 hours.
Approximately 45 minutes. Please allow monitoring time after completion of examination.