CT Coronary Angiogram (CTCA)
What is it?
It is an imaging technique that uses Computed Tomography (CT) scanner to obtain images of the heart and coronary arteries. It will be able to give valuable information of the structures of the heart and of the coronary arteries.
How it works
The CTCA scanner takes multiple images of your heart and coronary arteries by rotating the scanner around you while you lie on the table. The scanning time takes only less than a second, but you will need to lie on the scanner table for up to ten minutes. The CTCA scanner will then reconstruct the images into a 3D picture of your heart, and will be able to analyse if you have any significant narrowing or blockages in your coronary arteries.
Why would your doctor choose this investigation (CTCA) over the conventional coronary aniography?
CTCA is a non-invasive investigation whereas the conventional coronary angiography is an invasive test which requires hospital admission and involves insertion of tubes (catheters) via a arterial sheath to insert or “engage” the coronary artery, thereby allowing dye (contrast) to be directly injected into the arteries. (see information on coronary angiography). On the contrary, CTCA only involves injection of contrast through an intravenous cannula (plastic needle or drip line).
You may still require invasive coronary angiography if there are significant narrowing or blockages in your coronary arteries.