What is a CTCA?
A CT Coronary Angiography, also known as ‘CTCA’, is a non-invasive imaging study used for evaluating the coronary arteries and determining risk for future coronary events. Not only can it determine the severity of any blockages, but it can also directly visualise and identify early stages of soft plaque formation on vessel walls. It also visualises calcified plaque, which occurs in most chronic coronary artery disease.
Who will be performing the procedure?
A nurse or CT technician from Imaging Central’s highly trained team will be performing and assisting you throughout this procedure. You will receive an examination that is completely customised to you at the lowest possible radiation dose.
Before the procedure
Because a slower heart rate produces clearer images, there are a few guidelines you must follow:
- Refrain from caffeine 12 hours prior to your appointment (e.g. Tea, coffee, chocolate, coke and more)
- Refrain from exercise 12 hours prior to your appointment
- Refrain from eating 2 hours before your appointment
- Avoid Viagra and associated drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction
During the procedure
When you arrive, your blood pressure and heart rate will be measured to determine whether heart rate slowing medication called beta-blockers needs to be administered.
A cannula will then be inserted into a vein at the elbow or forearm for the injection of contrast. ECG leads will also be placed on your chest to monitor your heart.
You will then lie down in our CT machine. An injection of iodine contrast agent will be injected through the cannula in your arm. Whilst the scan is being taken you will be instructed to take a small breath and keep your mouth open. The breath hold is for 5 – 10 seconds only.
After the procedure
You will be led to a resting area and if you took heart rate slowing medications. You may be required to wait until the possible side effects have subsided.
Procedure risks and side effects
The scan will only expose you to a small amount of radiation as we have a state of the art 128 slice CT. The contrast injection contains iodine and there is a very small risk of allergy to the contrast.
Bookings are required for this procedure.
All of Imaging Central’s cardiac scans are reported by our highly qualified and experienced cardiologists. Images and reports will be delivered via preferred method of your referring doctor within 24 hours to 48 hours. In the case of a significant finding, your referring doctor will be contacted within the same day.