Features January 2015 Issue

Know When CT Angiography Is Useful and When It’s Unnecessary

CT angiography provides 3-D images of the coronary arteries to show how well blood is flowing in the heart.

Know When CT Angiography Is Useful and When It’s Unnecessary

A computed tomography angiogram can help confirm or rule out coronary artery disease, but the test should be used only in certain cercumstances.

When it comes to heart health, you’ve probably undergone or at least heard about a whole range of tests—from EKGs to nuclear stress tests. And one of the more commonly performed tests these days is a computed tomography (CT) angiogram. It uses powerful x-ray equipment and a special dye to make the coronary arteries visible by the CT scanner. This differs from a traditional coronary angiogram, which uses a catheter to deliver the contrast dye to the area being examined. The advantage of a traditional angiogram is that if a blockage is found, the catheter may be used to deploy a stent in the blocked artery.

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