What is a CT Coronary Angiogram?
CTCA is a non-invasive diagnostic examination which images the coronary arteries using Computed Tomography (CT) imaging. If the patients meet the correct indications, CTCA can be used instead of an invasive conventional coronary angiogram to evaluate coronary artery disease (CAD) and detect stenosis and plaques.
What is a calcium score test?
A cardiac CT scan for coronary calcium is a non-invasive way of obtaining information about the presence, location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries—the vessels that supply oxygen-containing blood to the heart muscle. This is a quick non-invasive test that does not require any preparation.
A trained staff member will go through a brief medical history, questionnaire and consent form. On arrival, if the patients heart rate is high, drugs will be administered to bring it down to an acceptable range. This can take up to 2 hours. Please factor this in when making an appointment. If the patients heart rate continues to remain high, we may have to abort the scan.
Prior to scanning, patient’s will be given a spray of nitroglycerine behind their tongue; this causes the blood vessels of the heart to dilate for better visualisation during the scan. The effects will only last for 10-30 minutes.
CTCA involves an injection of contrast, therefore there is a low risk of a reaction to the contrast media. CT uses ionising radiation, however this is relatively low compared to interventional coronary angiography.
The patient should expect to be in the scanning room for approximately 15 minutes. However, you are required to be present 40miniutes beforehand so we can monitor and stabilise your heart rate. You will also be asked to wait in our recovery before you are discharged. Please allow up to two hours for the examination.
The patient will be moved to a rest area and a staff member will ensure they are feeling ok before being sent home. It is recommended to arrange someone to drive the patient home after the exam.
Booking is required for CTCA as preparation is required, however no booking is needed for a calcium sore test.