CT Coronary Angiography

CT coronary angiography (CTA) is a newly developed technique for non-invasive evaluation of coronary artery disease. The X-ray procedure known as a CT, when combined with iodine-based contrast agents, generates cross sectional views of the coronary arteries and heart. At the Emory Cardiac Imaging Center, we use a state of the art multi-detector CT system to acquire high-resolution images of the heart and great vessels. This advanced technology is being used more and more to identify calcified and non-calcified plaques in the coronary arteries. The CT coronary angiography also helps to exclude the possibility of stenosis due to atherosclerosis. Early stages of coronary atherosclerosis can be detected before the development of coronary arterial narrowing.

Indications

The CT coronary angiography may be employed in a variety of clinical settings.

  • Identify narrowing of coronary arteries
  • Identify buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries before the development of arterial narrowing
  • Evaluate congenital anomalies of the coronary arteries or great vessels
  • Evaluate bypass grafts after coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Detect aortic aneurysm or dissection
  • Coronary vein assessment for pacemaker implantation
  • Preparing for the procedure

The patient will be asked not to eat or drink for two hours and to avoid caffeinated drinks and exercise for six hours prior to the procedure. The patient will be asked to complete a safety questionnaire to identify any allergies to foods, drugs, and iodine. In certain situations, the patient may need a blood test to assess kidney function and to exclude pregnancy prior to the scan.