What is A CTA or CT Angiography?

CTA means Computed Tomography Angiography or CT Angiogram. It’s a procedure where X-rays are utilized to provide a detailed image of the heart, including the blood vessels, lungs, kidneys, brain, neck, arms, and legs.

A CT Angiography displays the narrowed or the blocked areas of the blood vessels. This kind of test can also show if there is a swelling aneurysm or if there is a buildup of plaque in the blood vessels.

CTA or CT Angiography is a painless and non-invasive test that allows high resolution, three-dimensional visualization of the heart, and other adjacent structures. This is a painless test because it is a scan. The CTA is used to detect or identify the weak section of the arteries or veins and to visualize the blood flow. It provides more precise images of the blood vessels than other types of tests such as MRI or ultrasound technology.

Why Might You Need to Undergo This Kind of Test?

If your doctor indicates that you have an abnormality, which involves your adjacent structures such as the blood vessels of your brain, lungs, kidneys, heart, the CT Angiography provides information for your physician to learn more about your condition.

Here are some reasons to choose CT Angiography. They include the following:

  1. To find and identify aneurysm, a blood vessel that is bulging and is in danger of rupturing.
  2. To see the irregular formation of the blood vessels inside your brain.
  3. To identify damaged blood vessels caused by injuries.
  4. To find blood vessels that become narrowed because of atherosclerosis, the fatty material that builds-up plaque in the walls of the arteries.
  5. To find blood clots that may be formed inside your legs, which can enter your lungs.
  6. To evaluate if there is a tumor that is nourished by the blood vessels.

What Are the Possible Risks that You Might Encounter for a Computed Tomography Angiography Test?

In every test, there is always a slight risk of having a medical event during the procedure. There is always a bit of a risk for cancer due to repeated high exposure of radiation with numerous CTA, CT, or XRAY tests. But the advantages of getting a precise diagnosis generally outweigh the risks. The amount of radiation used during the CTA is minimal. Therefore, the risk of radiation exposure is minimal.

Risks include:

  1. Allergic Reactions – Always tell your radiologist if you have a history of allergies or an allergy to contrast material. If you have allergies, you may start to take medicine before you take the CTA test.
  2. Tissue damage – If there is a large number of contrast materials, it can irritate your skin or your blood vessels and nerves under your skin.

Once the test is completed, you will have your IV removed. In most situations, you can go back to your normal activities at home. You could be given some added instructions after the test, depending on your specific situation.

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