CT angiography is the dedicated study of the blood vessels. This type of examination involves an injection of X-ray dye through a vein in the arm to enhance the vessels, which are then imaged utilising the CT scanner.
CT or CAT scan (Computerised Tomography) is a valuable diagnostic test that allows radiologists to see inside areas of the body, which cannot be seen using conventional X-rays.
CT Angiography can be used to image the vessels of the brain, neck, chest, heart, pulmonary system, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys and limbs. The angiogram usually takes approximately 10–30 minutes to perform. This imaging method produces a series of pictures that are then reconstructed by a computer into cross-sectional views.
Synergy Radiology utilises the most advanced CT scanners available. Our scanners adopt the latest software to ensure the lowest radiation dose possible.
Preparing for your CT Angiogram
Please bring your referral (letter from your practitioner) and your Medicare and/or Pension Healthcare card with you to your appointment. It is important to bring all previous imaging relating to the region being scanned.
You will be asked to fast for three hours (drinking water is encouraged).
We ask that you bring in a copy of your latest blood test results, from within the last 12 months, if available.
Stimulants, such as caffeine, should be avoided for 24 hours prior to the examination.
Beta blockers may be required to reduce the heart rate for the scanner. These may be prescribed by your referring doctor or administered prior to the examination if required. We ask that you bring a driver with you if these are required for your examination.
You will be asked to sign a consent form, complete a medical history questionnaire and change into a gown.
The radiographer will bring you into the CT room where you will be asked to lie down on the table.
The contrast is administered halfway through the CT Angiogram. It is normal to experience a warm flush over the body, a metallic taste in the mouth and a warm sensation in the bladder. These sensations are normal and cease after a couple of minutes.
It is important that you lie very still and you will be asked to hold your breath as the images are acquired.
The procedure takes half an hour to perform. You have no restrictions after having a CT scan and can go about your normal activities. To help eliminate the contrast medium from your body, drink plenty of fluids after the scan.
The radiographer is in full view and communication with you and the scanner does not touch you, nor do you feel the X-rays. There will be a slight buzzing sound and the table will move during the scan.
This examination will take more time due to the extra data processing involved, CT angiography may take at least 48 hours before results are available.
Synergy Radiology strongly advises that you return to your practitioner, in order for your doctor to discuss your radiology report with you.
We understand that some patients are anxious about having tests performed. If you do have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask our staff.
Can I continue my medication before a CT Angiogram?
If you are diabetic and take Metformin (also known as Glucophage, Diabex or Diaformin) then you may be required to stop taking Metformin on the day of your CT and to have recent blood test (renal function) results with you. All other medications should be continued.
What is the radiation dose for a CT Angiogram?
At Synergy Radiology we follow the ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable) principle in regards to radiation dose. Our CT scanner uses the latest software to ensure the lowest radiation dose possible and our highly trained radiographers tailor the test to each individual patient.
How long will the CT Angiogram scan take?
The examination usually takes approximately 10–30 minutes to perform. Please inquire when you make your appointment.
Can I eat and drive after a CT Angiogram?
You have no restrictions after having a CT angiogram and can go about your normal activities. To help eliminate the contrast medium from your body you are required to drink plenty of fluids after the scan.
Do I have to take my clothes off for my CT Angiogram?
You may be requested to change into a gown.
Will the radiographer performing my scan, be able to tell me the results?
It is the radiographer’s duty to perform the test and ensure the images are clear for the radiologist (specialist) to interpret them.