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  • Writer's pictureDr Woo JW

Heart Health in High Definition: The Power of CT Coronary Angiograms

Updated: Mar 6

Understanding the Role of CT Coronary Angiograms in Heart Wellness

Woman lying down on a CT machine and a doctor monitors a computer screen of the scan

A CT Coronary Angiogram is a powerful diagnostic tool that has revolutionised the way we understand and treat heart disease. In this blog post, we will delve into what a CT Coronary Angiogram is, how it works and what to expect during a procedure.

It is a medical imaging test that makes use of a high-powered X-ray machine to produce detailed images of the heart and its blood vessels. This non-invasive procedure enables doctors to examine the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle in detail.

A CT Coronary Angiogram is a less invasive diagnostic test as compared to a traditional angiogram. In a traditional angiogram, a catheter is inserted through the groin or arm, which is then moved up to the heart or coronary arteries. On the other hand, a CT Coronary Angiogram involves the injection of a contrast dye through an IV, which is usually placed in the arm or hand.

The main purpose of a CT Coronary Angiogram is to examine the heart's blood vessels for any blockages or narrowing, which is medically known as coronary artery disease. This test provides a clear picture that can assist doctors in diagnosing heart conditions, planning treatments, and evaluating the risk of heart disease.

What to Expect

The procedure is typically performed in the radiology department of a hospital or outpatient imaging facility. Before the procedure, a beta blocker medication may be administered to slow your heart rate down, which will provide clearer images on the CT scan.

During the procedure, a dye called contrast will be injected into a vein, usually in the arm. This dye highlights the coronary arteries, making them visible on the CT scan.

The CT scanner then takes a series of X-ray images, which are compiled to create a detailed, cross-sectional view of the heart.

Potential Side Effects

Although CT Coronary Angiograms are generally safe, they do carry potential side effects and risks. Here are some of the most common ones:

  1. Allergic Reaction to the Contrast Dye Some people may be allergic to the contrast dye used in the procedure. It's important to inform your healthcare provider before the procedure if you have a history of allergies.

  2. Kidney Problems The contrast dye used in the procedure can cause kidney problems, especially in patients who have a history of kidney issues.

  3. Radiation Exposure A CT Coronary Angiogram involves radiation exposure. The amount of radiation varies depending on the type of machine used. Pregnant women should not have a CT angiogram due to potential harm to the unborn child.

  4. Nausea, Vomiting, and Dizziness Some patients may experience nausea, vomiting, and dizziness during or after the procedure.

  5. Headache Some patients may experience a headache from the medication given during the procedure.

  6. Bleeding or Infection There is a small risk of bleeding or infection at the site of the injection.

Understanding the function and importance of a CT Coronary Angiogram is crucial in the modern healthcare landscape. This non-invasive, highly effective diagnostic tool plays a vital role in diagnosing and treating heart disease.

At Sunrise Heart Specialist Clinic, Dr. Woo and his team are dedicated to keeping your heart healthy. With years of experience and a passion for heart health, we provide top-notch care tailored to your needs. Book an appointment today and take the first step towards a healthier heart. Your heart doesn’t rest, and neither do we.


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