Angiography is an imaging test used to detect disease and abnormality of the blood supply in nearly any organ or body part. Angiography produces images of the major blood vessels and allows radiologists to detect blockages, atherosclerosis, or anatomic malformation.
When done using computed tomography (CT), the procedure is done by administering a contrast agent intravenously and then scanning your body to produce images of your heart and blood vessels. The contrast agent “lights up” blood vessels and tissues and the CT scan creates a detailed image of the body part being examined using X-rays and a sophisticated computer system. This gives radiologists and health care providers a visualization of blood flow and supply, allowing them to diagnose issues and plan for surgery.
CT angiography can detect many kinds of arterial disorders and help plan for treatment or surgery. It is used to:
If you are, or think you are pregnant, be sure to notify your doctor or technologist before undergoing a CT scan. The amount of radiation received during a CT scan is unlikely to harm you or your baby. However, in general, CT scans are not recommended in pregnant women. In every case, the mother’s health must be considered as well. The benefit to the pregnant woman of having the CT scan to diagnose an illness may outweigh the small amount of risk to the baby from a low-dose CT scan.
The part of your body being scanned should also be considered. For example, brain CT exposes the unborn baby to little or no radiation. Even if the fetus is directly exposed to CT scan radiation (such as in CT scans of the abdomen or pelvis), the increased risk of developing cancer later in life is one in 1000. Some doctors may recommend another type of exam (ultrasound or MRI) to avoid exposing your baby to radiation.
The ACR states that current information suggests breastfeeding is safe after the use of intravenous contrast. Please discuss your breastfeeding options with your medical provider.
For more information on contrast, please see About CT Contrast.
Coronary CT angiography evaluates the arteries around your heart (coronary arteries), and the procedure differs from other CT exams. With coronary CT angiography, your heart will be monitored during the exam via sticky electrocardiogram (ECG) leads placed on your chest. Also, your paramedic or nurse may need to administer medication to slow your heart rate down to obtain clear images. You will be monitored during and after the CT angiography if any medication is given.
To schedule a CT angiography, please call our scheduling team at (512) 453-6100 or toll free at (800) 998-8214. A provider referral is required to make an appointment.
A radiologist, a physician specifically trained to interpret radiological examinations, will analyze the images and send a signed report to the provider who referred you to ARA. The physician will then share the results with you. Your report will also be available on the patient portal within 3 business days your exam.
If you are getting a CT exam at ARA and want to know...
ARA continues to follow CDC guidelines in requiring employees and patients to wear masks at our imaging centers for the safety of all.