Riverina Cardiology

CT Calcium Score and CT Coronary Angiogram (CTCA)

Information

CTCA is a fast, non-invasive CT imaging scan to assess the coronary arteries of your heart. CTCA is a safe and accurate way to exclude the presence of coronary artery disease (CAD).

While the scan only takes 10 minutes, the procedure can take up to 1 ½ hours. You will be given a questionnaire to fill out.

You will be asked to change into a gown. An ECG will be performed and a cannula will be inserted into your arm to allow contrast to be injected. Your heart rate will be monitored and it may be necessary to give you some medication to slow down your heart to make it easier for images to be viewed.

The scan requires you to lie on the CT bed on your back, you will then be connected to a monitor. You will be given breathing instructions and the procedure will be explained to you. A calcium score will be performed. Depending on your heart rate and rhythm, this may be all that is able to be performed on the day.

If your heart rate is stable then we will continue with the full CTCA. A small tablet will be placed under your tongue to dilate the blood vessels to allow for optimal visualisation of the coronary arteries. A test injection will be given to determine the correct timing and contrast volume required. Once this is established the CTCA will be performed.

 Preparation

  • Nothing to eat 2 hours prior
  • Do not have caffeine for 24 hours prior to the test (ie no tea, coffee, coca-cola, chocolate, cocoa products, decaffeinated products)
  • Drink 1 litre of water ( or other non-carbonated fluid) over the hour prior
  • Refrain from smoking for 24 hours prior

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