Cardiac CT Scan Angiography (CCTA)
What is a cardiac CT scan angiography?
A CT scan is a special computer that makes detailed pictures of your internal organs and bones
through the use of x-rays. A cardiac CT scan angiography looks at the structures and blood
vessels of the heart. This test provides images that show blockages in the blood vessels, the
shapes of the chambers and other parts of the heart, and into the walls of the blood vessels.
Who may have the test?
The patients who will be good candidates for the test are those with
Symptoms of decreased blood flow to the heart (ischemia).
A stress test result that did not rule out problems.
A sudden onset of heart symptoms (often seen in the Emergency Department).
Known or possible heart defects.
A newly diagnosed weak heart muscle (cardiomyopathy).
A need for a pacemaker or an atrial ablation procedure.
Who should not have the test?
The patients who should not have this test include
Women who are pregnant.
Patients with abnormal kidney function.
Patients with irregular heart rates or very fast heart rates.
Patients who cannot lie flat or hold their breath for up to 15 seconds.
What should I do to prepare for the test?
If you have diabetes, speak with the nurse to find out when you should take your diabetes
If you take a diuretic (water pill), do not take it the morning of the test.
Do not eat for 4 hours before the test. You may drink water.
If you take medicine to slow your heart rate, take them as you normally do.
How is the test done?
Arrive at the time you were given. Go to the ________________________________.
You will be taken to the prep area where you will be connected to a heart monitor. A
nurse will place an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in your arm.
You may receive medications to slow your heart rate if needed.
You will be taken to the scanner room.
You may be given a nitroglycerine tablet under your tongue.
You will lie on the CT table. The IV will be connected to the contrast injector.
Heart images without contrast are taken for a calcium evaluation if needed.
You may receive a small test dose of contrast to measure the time it takes for the contrast
to get to the heart.
The dose of contrast is then injected and the images are taken.
How long will the test take?
You will be at the hospital for about 2 hours. The actual time for the test is 10 to 20 minutes.
How do I get my test results?
In all cases, the results of the CCTA will be sent to the doctor who ordered the test.
Where can I get more information about this test?
You may find more information at this website.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 11/2015 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6938