CT angiography


Computed tomography angiography

Computed tomography angiography, also called CT angiography, is a computed tomography technique used to visualize arterial and venous vessels throughout the body.

Studies include arteries serving the brain to those bringing blood to the lungs, kidneys, pelvis, arms and legs.

Coronary CT angiography (CTA) is the use of CT angiography to assess the coronary arteries of the heart.

An intravenous injection of radiocontrast is administered to a patient and the heart is scanned using a high speed CT scanner.

It allows assessment of the extent of occlusion in the coronary arteries, usually in order to diagnose coronary artery disease.

It has not replaced invasive catheter coronary angiography.

CT angio of the coronary arteries displays the anatomical detail of blood vessels more precisely than magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound.

It is a useful way of screening for arterial disease because it is safer and much less time-consuming than catheter angiography and is a cost-effective procedure.

Commonly used for the following purposes:

CT pulmonary angiogram (CTPA) to examine the pulmonary arteries to rule out pulmonary embolism.

To visualize blood flow in the renal arteries.

To identify aneurysms in the aorta or in other major blood vessels.

To identify dissection in the aorta or its major branches.

To identify a small aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation inside the brain.

To detect peripheral arterial disease.

CT angiography is a contrast CT where images are taken after injection of radiocontrast resulting in a high radiodensity within the blood vessels of interest.

Harms of overuse of CT angiography include radiation exposure, risk of an allergic reaction, use in patients with kidney disease or severe diabetes.

Because it is associated with a significant dose of ionizing radiation, it may cause an

increase in lifetime cancer risk.

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