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Heart Health

Noninvasive CTA (CT Angiogram)

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By Dr. Sujata Vaidya , Non-Invasive Conservative Cardiac Care

Non-Invasive CT or Computerized Tomography Angiogram is an imaging test done on your heart to check the condition of the arteries. This imaging test differs from the traditional test in the sense that it doesn’t use a catheter which is passed through your blood vessels to reach your heart. This is a non-invasive procedure meaning it doesn’t require surgery or the insertion of medical devices into the body.

How does a CTA work?

For the CTA to work, doctors will firstly inject a contrast material rich in iodine into your body. Your body is then put through a CT scanner for diagnosing and evaluating the disease or any infection related to your blood vessels like blockages or aneurysms (sudden swelling of the artery wall). It uses a strong X-ray machine for procuring images of the heart and the blood vessels. The biggest advantage of this procedure is that it is non-invasive and thus you don’t need time to recover. Due to its flexibility, Non-invasive CTAs are slowly surging as a popular option for carrying out tests in people suffering from heart conditions.

Areas:

The Non-invasive CTA is performed to check the condition of your blood vessels of the following areas:

  • Heart
  • Neck
  • Brain
  • Pelvis
  • Abdomen including kidneys and liver
  • Legs
  • Hands

What does it do?

This procedure is done for the following reasons:

  1. To check whether there is any abnormality in any of the arteries.
  2. To check whether there is any plaque build up (a kind of material made up of fatty tissue and deposits) in the carotid artery located on your neck. This buildup can restrict blood flow to the brain causing cerebral attacks.
  3. To detect plaque build-up that may have resulted in the narrowing of the arteries to the legs, before the surgeon can be ready for a surgery in that region.
  4. To detect infections in the arteries of the kidneys and to also check whether one needs a kidney transplant.
  5. To identify whether there are any injuries in the arteries of the abdomen, pelvis or neck area often received due to sudden physical trauma.

Apart from that, it shows the intensity of the coronary artery diseases and whether you need to undergo surgeries like stenting(widening of the arteries by putting in external supports) or a coronary bypass.