What is Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography (CCTA)?

Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) is a heart imaging test that helps determine if plaque buildup has narrowed a patient's coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply the heart. Plaque is made of various substances circulating in the blood, such as fat, cholesterol and calcium that deposit along the inner lining of the arteries. Plaque, which builds up over time, can reduce or in some cases completely block blood flow. Patients undergoing a CCTA scan receive an iodine-containing contrast material (dye) as an intravenous (IV) injection to ensure the best possible images of the heart blood vessels.

Who should consider having a CCTA?

CCTA may be appropriate for symptomatic patients considering stress test or elective cardiac catheterization, or asymptomatic patients with risk factors for coronary artery disease.

What are some of the risk factors for CAD?

  • Family History of Heart Disease
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Overweight
  • Sedentary Lifestyle (little or no exercise)

What can I expect during this procedure?

As part of the exam, you’re positioned on a CT scan table and contrast is injected into a vein. This dye allows the inside of the coronary arteries to be visualized. Then, a high-speed scanner captures hundreds of cross-sectional images. Afterwards, a computer reconstructs a series of 3D images that our radiologists can view from any angle. Not only is this technique invaluable for delineation of the body’s vasculature, but it is also relatively safe, convenient and non-invasive.