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CT Cardiac Angiogram Coronary Patient Information

This page contains information for a CT Cardiac Angiogram Coronary. Please contact us with any further questions prior to your examination.

What is a CT Cardiac Angiogram Coronary scan?

A cardiac CT scan (CTCA) is a specialised scan that uses X-rays to look at your heart and the vessels that supply blood to it. A Your referrer will explain the implications of the findings after the scan.

What should I do before my scan?

If there is any chance you are pregnant please reshedule your scan. Do not drink or eat anything containing caffeine (e.g. tea, coffee or cola) from midnight before the scan. Please continue to take any medication as normal on the day of the scan apart from Viagra medication. You should fast for 4 hours prior to the can apart from sips of water.

Checklist on the day of your scan: 

  • You should fast for 4 hours prior to the scan but can drink sips of water
  • Do arrive 10 minutes before your appointment
  • Do not take any Viagra medication on the day of your scan

Asking for your consent

The radiographer will ask if you are happy for the scan to go ahead. This is called verbal consent. You will also be asked to sign a form to agree to have the injection. Your radiographer will go through this form in detail. It is your decision, and you can change your mind at any time. Please ask any questions you have at any point.

What medications are used during this scan?

  • Beta Blockers – These helps lower your heart rate to capture still images of your heart. Some patients won’t need beta blockers if their resting heart rate is low enough (~60bpm). Your cardiologist will assess whether Beta Blockers are safe to use (one of our experienced radiologists will administer when and if it necessary).
  • Glyceryl Trinitrate (GTN) – This is a spray administered under the tongue and acts as a vasodilator which allows for better visualisation of the coronary arteries.
  • X-ray Dye (Omnipaque) – This is an iodine-based contrast that is injected intravenously. It visualises the necessary vascular anatomy and is essential for the scan.

What happens during the scan? 

We will:

  • Ask you to change into a gown with the opening at the front (to allow for the easy application of ECG electrodes)
  • Go through the consent and medical forms
  • Have you lie down on the CT table
  • The Radiographer will apply ECG electrodes to your chest to monitor your heart rate (we may need to shave some areas, so the ECG electrodes stick correctly)
  • We will check your blood pressure at this point
  • A small needle (canula) will be inserted into your arm
  • The radiologist will administer a beta blocker via the canula if nessecary via
  • You will then go through the CT machine and asked to hold your breath
  • If needed your radiologist will spray Glyceryl Trinitrate (GTN) under your tongue
  • While the scan is being performed, an X-Ray dye will be injected viayour canula

What happens after the scan?

After the scan you are free to leave the department when you are ready, unless you have any other tests that day.  The results will be sent to your referrer after 48 hours.

What are the risks?

CT scans use radiation, the same as X-rays but the radiation used is very small and the benefits outweigh the risks. Anyone of child bearing age (12-55 years old) will need to confirm that there is no possibility of pregnancy, due to the radiation exposure during the examination.

Contact us

Please contact the Imaging team about any general concerns on 0207 467 4317. However, if you experience any symptoms of concern please contact your GP or go to your local Emergency Department (A&E).

Your comments and concerns

If you have any questions or concerns about your medicines, please speak to the staff caring for you. For support or advice please speak to your consultant or the Imaging department on 0207 467 4317.

Language and accessible support services

If you need an interpreter or information about your care in a different language or format, please get in touch.

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