A CT coronary angiogram is performed to find out more about your heart. It can find out why any coronary arteries are blocked or partially blocked, how severely they are affected, and to measure the flow of blood through the heart.
A CT coronary angiogram is performed as a day case procedure, which means there is no need for an overnight stay in hospital. The procedure is usually carried out in a CT imaging room by a specialist radiographer.
A CT coronary angiogram is similar to a conventional coronary angiogram. A contrast dye is injected, however during a CT coronary angiogram it is injected into the back of the hand. Once the dye is injected, the CT scanner takes multiple images of your heart during certain points of your heart beat. The CT scanner also allows for 3D images to be built of your heart.
During the procedure, you will have an ECG machine attached to you which monitors your heart rate. You may also be injected with a solution that slightly slows your heartbeat down to allow multiple images to be taken.
The procedure usually takes around 15 minutes to complete.
Your cardiologist or specialist will discuss the procedure with you beforehand, and will advise you whether you need to stop taking any medications.
You may also be asked to refrain from any food or drink before the procedure.
You must arrange someone to take you home after the procedure is complete as it is advisable not to drive afterwards.
It is advisable to rest for 24 hours after your coronary angiogram, and avoid any strenuous exercise too.
As with all procedures, there are some side effects and potential risks. Your doctor will discuss any risks with you beforehand.