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Coronary CTA

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.

Common Questions

  • Why would my physician recommend a Coronary CTA?

    Your physician may recommend a Coronary CTA if you may be at increased risk of having heart disease or have symptoms that may be due to heart disease, including: high cholesterol, indeterminate results on a stress test, chest pain or other signs of stenosis. This test is typically recommended if you have any early symptoms—allowing you to avoid unnecessary catheterizations and tests with higher radiation dosages like traditional and nuclear stress tests.

  • How is a Coronary CTA different from other Cardiac Screening Tests?

    During a Coronary CTA, the scans generate high-resolution images of your heart and blood vessels, showing blockages that may lead to a heart attack. Unlike noninvasive heart screening tests, like Calcium Scoring, this test can accurately show both calcified and soft cholesterol plaques in your arteries, and determine the presence and severity of blood flow obstruction. Soft plaques are the most common cause of heart attacks and are not detectable by other noninvasive screening tests. Prior to this test, only an invasive and expensive cardiac catheterization could show this level of detail.

  • Why should I choose Fairfax Radiology for my Coronary CTA?

    Fairfax Radiology was one of the earliest sites in the region to offer Coronary CTA, and to date has performed tens of thousands of these tests. Our Radiologists all meet accreditation for reading Coronary CTA. 


  • What should I expect during a Coronary CTA?

    This test is relatively quick and painless. You will be given complete preparation instructions prior to the test. On the day of your Coronary CTA, you may be given medication to lower your heart rate if needed. Electrodes (small, sticky discs) will be placed on your chest and are connected to a machine (electrocardiograph or ECG) that will read your heart's electrical activity during the exam. You will be given an injection of a contrast agent and will lie faceup on the scanner table. You will be asked to hold your breath several times for 10-20 seconds each time as the table moves through the CT scanning machine, 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.

  • What should I expect after a Coronary CTA?

    After your Coronary CTA, you can go about your normal activities. Your physician will receive a comprehensive report interpreted by one of our board certified Radiologists. Any abnormalities or areas of plaque build-up will be clearly identified and your physician will discuss the results with you, along with a treatment plan if needed.

  • How do I schedule a Coronary CTA with Fairfax Radiology?

    Contact our Scheduling Department for an appointment:

    Phone: 703.698.4488 Monday through Friday 8am to 6pm

    Fax: 703.698.0864

    Or click here to make an appointment request

    Please have your written physician order and your insurance card in hand when making your appointment.

  • When are appointments offered for Coronary CTA?

    For your convenience, appointments are available at our Prosperity Imaging Center location. Learn more about each location.

Related Resources

Available at the following locations

Fairfax Radiology Center at Prosperity
Fairfax Radiology Center at Prosperity

8503 Arlington Boulevard 
Suite LL-100 (US, X-Ray, Nuc Med) 
Suite LL-110 (CT) 
Fairfax, Virginia, 22031

Fairfax Radiology Center of Lansdowne
Fairfax Radiology Center of Lansdowne

19455 Deerfield Avenue
Suite 102
Lansdowne, VA 20176
United States