Coronary CT Angiography
Coronary CT Angiography (CCTA) is a new exam that creates detailed 3-D images of the heart and arteries in a matter of just seconds. This exam gives physicians an easy, fast, and non-invasive look inside your heart. The images created help diagnose the causes of certain symptoms as well as detect any blockages early, before it's too late.
How does CCTA work?
Using non-invasive CT scan technology, CCTA takes a 3D picture of a beating heart in about five seconds. The digital pictures give doctors excellent image quality.
They can quickly evaluate the heart and coronary arteries for plaque, a blockage or heart disease.
In the past, cardiac catheterization was the only method to diagnose clogged arteries. With cardiac catheterization, an X-ray guided thin tube or catheter is inserted through an artery and advanced into the area of the heart that needs to be examined.
Who is this test recommended for?
Coronary CTA may be appropriate for patients with atypical symptoms and an intermediate risk for CAD, those with inconclusive stress test results, or those who are considering cardiac catheterization. You should talk with your doctor to see if this test is right for you.
How long will the test take?
The actual exam will only take 10-15 minutes. You will need to arrive at the hospital one hour prior to your scheduled appointment time.
Does this exam require any special preparations?
Yes, this exam does require certain preparations including drinking water, avoiding caffeine and exercise prior to your exam, and taking a Beta blocker to decrease your heart rate. You will receive a list of specific instructions prior to your exam.
Will my insurance cover the exam?
Some insurance companies, including Medicare, will cover this exam for certain symptomatic patients. Please call your specific insurance company for information.
How long will it take for me to see the results of my exam?
At your request, the radiologist will be available to review your images with you. A report will also be generated and sent to your primary care physician.