CT Angiography

CT angiography is the dedicated study of the blood vessels of the head or body. This type of examination involves an injection of x-ray dye through a vein in the arm to enhance the vessels, which are then imaged utilising the CT scanner.

Overview

“CT” scan, or “CAT” scan, stands for Computerised Tomography: a valuable diagnostic test that allows radiologists to see inside some areas of the body which cannot be seen using conventional x-rays.

CT Angiography can be used to image the vessels of the brain, neck, chest, heart, pulmonary system, gastro-intestinal tract, kidneys and limbs. The angiogram usually takes approximately 10-30 minutes to perform. This imaging method produces a series of pictures that are then reconstructed by a computer into cross-sectional views.

Significant technological advancements in recent years have greatly reformed and refined treatment courses. Norwest Medical Imaging has one of the most advanced CT scanners available, manufactured by Toshiba, the Aquilion One 320 slice CT Scanner. Our scanner uses the latest software to ensure the lowest radiation dose possible.

Preparing for your CT Angiogram

Please bring your referral (letter from your doctor) and your Medicare and/or Pension Health care card with you to your appointment. It is important to bring all previous films relating to the region being imaged.

You will be asked to fast for 4 hours before the test. If you are diabetic and take Metformin (also known as Glucophage, Diabex or Diaformin), then you may be required to stop taking the Metformin on the day of your CT scan and the following 24 hours. It is best to bring recent blood test (renal function) results with you. All other medication should be continued.

You will be asked to sign a consent form and complete a medical history questionnaire.

You may be asked to change into a gown.

CT coronary angiography does have a more detailed preparation; please see CT Coronary Angiography for details.

Scanning

Our highly trained radiographer will bring you into the CT scan room where you will be asked to lie down on the CT table.

A cannula is then inserted into a vein for the administration of contrast. The intravenous contrast is administered halfway through the CT angiogram. It is normal to experience a warm flush over the body, a metallic taste in the mouth and a warm sensation in the bladder. These sensations are normal and cease after a couple of minutes.

It is important you lie very still and you will be asked to hold your breath as the images are acquired.

The procedure takes half an hour to perform. You have no restrictions after having a CT scan and can go about your normal activities. To help eliminate the contrast medium from your body, drink plenty of fluids after the scan.

The radiographer is in full view and in communication with you through the observation window at their console. The scanner does not touch you, nor do you feel the x-rays. The scanner does make a slight buzzing sound and the table you are lying on may move slightly to make adjustments.

Results

This examination will take more time due to the extra data processing involved, but results should be available on the day of examination. CT coronary angiography will take at least 48 hours before results are available.

Norwest Medical Imaging strongly advises that you return to your referring doctor, in order for your doctor to discuss your radiology report with you.

We understand that some patients are anxious about having tests performed. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask our staff.

FAQs

Can I continue my medication before a CT Angiogram?
If you are diabetic and take Metformin (also known as Glucophage, Diabex or Diaformin) then you may be required to stop taking the Metformin on the day of your CT and to have recent blood test (renal function) results with you. All other medications should be continued.

What is the radiation dose for a CT Angiogram?
At Norwest Medical Imaging we follow the ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) principle in regards to radiation dose. Our CT scanner uses the latest software to ensure the lowest radiation dose possible and our highly trained radiographers tailor the test to each individual patient.

How long will the CT Angiogram scan take?
The examination usually takes approximately 10-30 minutes to perform.  Please enquire when you make your appointment.

Can I eat and drive after a CT Angiogram?
You have no restrictions after having a CT angiogram and can go about your normal activities. To help eliminate the contrast medium from your body you are required to drink plenty of fluids after the scan.

Do I have to take my clothes off for my CT Angiogram?
You may be requested to change into a gown.

Will the radiographer performing my scan tell me what’s wrong?
The radiographer is not qualified to read your x-rays. It is the radiographer’s duty to perform the test and ensure the images are of high quality for the radiologist (specialist doctor) to interpret them.