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A computerized tomography (CT) scan is a type of X-ray that uses a computer to make cross-sectional images of the body. CT angiography combines a CT scan with an injection of a special dye to produce pictures of blood vessels and tissues in a part of your body. The dye is injected through an intravenous (IV) line started in the arm or hand. Cardiac CTA focuses on producing images of the heart’s structure and function, including valves and chambers.

Reasons for CT Angiography

CTA may be used with patients who have an abnormality that involves the blood vessels of the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, or other parts of the body. Doctors may use the information from this test to learn more about a patient’s condition or to plan treatment. Information from CT angiography may help prevent a stroke or a heart attack.

Some reasons to have a CT angiogram include:

  • To find an aneurysm (a blood vessel that has become enlarged and may be in danger of rupturing)
  • To find blood vessels that have become narrowed by atherosclerosis (fatty material that forms plaques in the walls of arteries)
  • To find abnormal blood vessel formations inside your brain
  • To identify blood vessels damaged by injury
  • To find blood clots that may have formed in your leg veins and traveled into your lungs
  • To evaluate a tumor that is fed by blood vessels

Learn more about other heart and vascular diagnostic tests we offer.