What is a Coronary CTA?
Heart disease typically progresses slowly for many years. In fact, the first sign of Coronary Artery Disease for many men and women is not until they suffer a heart attack. If you are at risk, it is important to find out early, when coronary disease is easier to treat.
Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography, more commonly referred to as Coronary CTA or CCTA, is an advanced screening test that uses sophisticated X-rays to help detect early coronary disease. Fairfax Radiology is the most experienced site in the region to offer this diagnostic procedure. Our state-of-the-art CT scanner generates hundreds of high-resolution images of your heart, allowing our physician to view the blood flow through your heart while it pumps. Like all CT scans at Fairfax Radiology, our Coronary CTA is fast, noninvasive and uses the latest technology to lower radiation dose.
This test is relatively quick and painless. The scan takes about 10-15 minutes, but you should plan to be at our facility for one to three hours. You will be given complete preparation instructions prior to the test. On the day of your Coronary CTA, you will be given medication to lower your heart rate if needed. You also will be given a Nitroglycerin tablet to put under your tongue to dilate blood vessels for better visualization of Coronary arteries. Small blood sample will be taken to test and ensure normal kidney function before contrast injection. When you are at the Scanner table, electrodes (small, sticky disks) will be placed on your chest and are connected to machine (electrocardiograph or ECG) that will read your heart’s electrical activity during the exam. You will lie faceup on the CT scanning machine and will be given an injection of a contrast agent capturing images that will be loaded into a computer to create a 3D rendering of your heart. The Technologist will be in the adjacent room operating the scanner but will be able to hear and communicate with you throughout the exam.