A CT angiography is a specialized exam which involves fast CT imaging while simultaneously injecting IV contrast into a vein in your arm. This allows for visualization of specific vascular anatomy of the organs in your body. It may be used to evaluate vessels or for surgical planning.
What is IV Contrast?
IV contrast is an iodine based solution that is injected into your veins and appears very bright (white) on a CT image. This contrast allows for enhanced visualization of the blood vessels in your body. IV contrast is filter from your blood by your kidneys and will be passed, unnoticed, from your body in your urine.
Preparation for Your Exam
Please do not eat solid foods for at least three hours before your test. You may, however drink clear liquids during this time as well as take your usual medications.
Upon arriving you may be asked to drink 4-8 oz. of whole milk or water before your exam. Drinking milk or water enhances the quality of your CT scan by making structures in your body easier to distinguish.
It is important that you inform the technologist before your exam if:
- You have asthma
- You are allergic to any foods or medications
- You may be pregnant or breastfeeding
- You are diabetic and taking Glucophage (metformin)
How long will it take?
This is different for everyone. Because a CT angiogram is a specialized exam it could take from 30-60 minutes from the time you enter the room.
After The Exam
You may resume your normal daily routine after your exam. Because you were given IV contrast for your exam, be sure to increase your fluid intake to help clear the material from your system.
Getting Your Results
In most cases CT angiography requires sophisticated image processing on special computers after you have left the hospital. Our radiologists will review the results of your CT scan with your doctor who will then explain them to you. Your doctor should have access to your exam results within 24 hours.