CT (Computerized Tomography) and CTA (Computerized
Tomography Angiogram) of the Brain - Outpatient
You are scheduled to have a CT on: __________________ at: ________ am/pm.
600 Highland Ave
Take the Atrium elevators to 3rd floor
Check in at the G3/3 reception desk
Research Park Clinic
621 Science Drive
Madison, WI 53711
Check in at 2nd Floor Radiology
5249 E. Terrace Dr
Madison, WI 53718
Check in at the main reception desk
To Cancel or change your appointment
Call 608-263-XRAY (9729) ext. #1 for CT
Fax Number 608-266-6120 Attention: CT
What is a Computerized Tomography Angiogram (CT) of the Brain?
A CT of the brain scan is a special test using a computer to take pictures of your brain, blood
vessels and bones through the use of x-rays.
A CTA is a similar test that uses dye to help the pictures of arteries and blood vessels in your
neck that travel to your brain show up better. Doctors can use CT angiogram of your brain to
check blood flow through arteries and to find narrowing or blockages in your or neck or brain
How is a CT/CTA performed?
If you are an outpatient: Once you have checked in at the reception area, a nurse or technologist
from the CT area will come to get you. If you need an IV, you will be brought back to a private
room where a nurse will ask you a few questions, answer any questions you might have, and start
For the scan you will lie on a table fully dressed. You will be placed on a table that can move
in and out of the CT scanner. During the scan you will need to hold as still as possible. The
machine will make a humming noise. You should not wear any jewelry around your neck.
Most people do not feel claustrophobic while in the CT scanner.
Before you begin the scan, an intravenous line (IV) will be placed. During the CT scan, a liquid
medicine will be given through your IV. This will go through your body to your neck and into
the vessels of the brain. The contrast dye can be seen in your neck and brain arteries on the
images produced from the CT scan. During the scan you will not have any pain. Some people
feel a warm sensation.
To get the best pictures, you must lie very still during the scanning periods.
What are the risks?
CT scans expose you to radiation. In ordering this test, your doctor has already considered that
the risks to you from radiation are outweighed by the benefit of the information the test will
Tell your doctor or nurse if you have had an allergic or other bad reaction to contrast dye or
shellfish. There are ways to decrease the risk of a reaction if your health care team knows about
If you are pregnant or might be pregnant, tell your doctor before the scan. Your doctor will help
you decide if you should have the scan or not.
If you have diabetes, tell your doctor right away. If you have diabetes and are taking any of
the pills listed below you will need to hold these medicines for 48 hours (2 days) after your
scan is done. Please talk with your doctor about other ways to control your blood sugar during
this time. You may take these medicines before your scan but not after.
Avandamet® ActoPlus Met® Fortamet® metformin
Glumetza® Glucophage® glyburide Glucovance®
It is best not to eat for 4 hours before your scan. You may be asked to drink six 8 oz glassess of
non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated beverages within the 12-24 hours after your scan to assure the
contrast is flushed from your body. This can decrease the risk of damage to your kidneys from
the dye. The medical team may order IV fluid for this purpose.
What happens next?
Many doctors will review the images. Once they complete their reading the results will be
available to the doctor who ordered the scan. This may take some time.
If you are an outpatient: Your doctor will make a plan for a follow up visit.. At this visit you
will be able to discuss results and what the doctor recommends. If your doctor discussed another
way to get the test results to you please follow his recommendation.
If you are an inpatient: Your doctor will talk with you about the results and what the results
mean for your care. It may take as long as 24 hours for your scan to be evaluated and to hear
what the doctor recommends.
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 ©10/2015. University of Wisconsin Hospital
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6949