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Coronary CT Angiography

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Coronary CT angiography is an advanced imaging technique used to detect the accumulation of plaque in the coronary blood vessels.

What is coronary CT angiography?

In the coronary CT angiography, multiple X-rays are used to produce cross-sectional images of the heart which are then formatted into a three-dimensional image by computers. [1].

  • Obstruction of coronary blood vessels is detected accurately.
  • Coronary CT angiography is a non-invasive and rapid technique causing less discomfort to patient than catheterization process.
  • Iodine contrast is used to obtain clear images.
  • Generally, coronary CT angiography is performed in patients with chest pain, abnormal ECG, or when results of stress test are inconclusive.
  • It helps surgeons to perform surgeries more precisely.

Latest equipments used for coronary CT angiography have more detectors and are termed as multi-slice CT scanners.

How is coronary CT angiography performed?

For coronary CT angiography a contrast is injected.

  • Patient lies down on table that slides into the equipment.
  • Electrodes are placed on the chest and attached to ECG machine.
  • Need to hold breath for few seconds during the scan.
  • Patient asked to keep arm above head for better images.

Actual procedure of coronary CT angiography takes about 15 minutes.

Risks of coronary CT angiography

Although risk due to radiation exposure exists, it outweighs the benefits of coronary CT angiography.

  • Risk of allergic reaction due to contrast injected.
  • Risk during pregnancy.
  • In patients with kidney disorders, risk of kidney damage.

Preparation before performing coronary CT angiography

A detailed medical history is taken before coronary CT angiography.

  • Doctors’ advice regarding food and medications must be followed before coronary CT angiography.
  • Patient is dressed in loose fitting
  • All accessories are removed.
  • If the heart rate is high, medication is administered to slower it to 60 beats/min.

Post-care after coronary CT angiography

Patient can resume routine activities after coronary CT angiography.

Plenty of water should be consumed by the patient to flush out dye from the body.

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