WHAT IS A CT CORONARY ANGIOGRAM?

Computerised Tomography (CT) is a fast and painless diagnostic tool, which uses X-rays to take multiple slice images of the body. CT Coronary Angiography is a non-invasive test to assess the blood vessels that supply the heart (coronary arteries), and is used to diagnose coronary artery disease. It is an alternative to cardiac catheterisation, which is longer, more invasive and potentially more risky than a CT coronary angiogram. However unlike cardiac catheterisation, CT coronary angiograms are only used to diagnose, not treat, any present coronary artery disease.

DO I NEED AN APPOINTMENT?

Yes. While the CT scanning itself will only take 10-15 minutes, you will be required to attend for about 1 hour, sometimes longer. We ask if you could please call us to make an appointment or come in and arrange a suitable time.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

Before your examination you must tell us if you:

  • Are pregnant, or suspect you are.
  • Have ever experienced a severe reaction to a previous injection of contrast media.
  • Are allergic to any prescribed medication.
  • Are taking a medication called Verapamil.
  • Suffer from asthma.
  • Have kidney disease.
  • Are a diabetic.
  • Have any information you believe may be relevant to your examination.
WHAT TO BRING:
  • Referral from your doctor.
  • Previous films and/or reports. If you have had a previous examination in any of our practices, these can be electronically retrieved and you do not need to bring them with you.
  • Medication if you are asthmatic or diabetic.
  • Method of payment, including Medicare, Health or Pension Card.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY CT SCAN?
  1. You must notify us at the time of booking if you:
    • Are a diabetic
    • Have kidney problems/renal disease
    • Are over 70 years of age
  2. If you are Diabetic and taking Metformin – medication should be withheld for at least 48 hours, commencing on the day of scan. Approval from referring doctor should be obtained before ceasing and recommencing. The following drugs contain Metformin: Diabex, Diaformin, Novomet, Glucohexal, Glucomet, Glucophage, Avandamet
  3. You will need to fast 4 hours prior to the scan
  4. No physical exercise, caffeine, cigarettes, or other stimulants (e.g. tea, energy drinks, chocolate, Viagra, nicotine) 12 hours prior to the scan
  5. You may continue to take any regular medications, including blood pressure medications.
  6. Keep well hydrated 24 hours before and after the scan
  7. You will need to arrive to the practice 1 hour before the scan time for heart rate measurements.

NOTE: we may give you some medication (Beta-blocker) to regulate and slow your heart rate.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN DURING MY CT SCAN?

Upon arrival a trained staff member will take you into a consultation room and: 

  1. Measure your heart rate and blood pressure
  2. Measure your height and weight
  3. Obtain a brief medical history 

To increase our chances of obtaining the highest quality images, we need to ensure that your heart rate is low and stable (below 60bpm). To achieve this, we may give you a tablet called Beta-blocker to slow your heart rate.

Your heart rate is measured 30-45 minutes after taking the Beta-blockers, and once we are satisfied with the readings you will be taken into the CT room. You will be asked to lie down on the CT table, where our radiographer will:

  1. Attach some ECG leads to your chest to monitor your heart rate
  2. Insert a small cannula (needle) into your arm so that we can administer intravenous contrast (x-ray dye), which highlights your blood vessels on the scan (for more information, refer to our Intravenous (IV) Contrast Information Sheet)
  3. Spray a sublingual nitroglycerine spray under your tongue, which slightly dilates your blood vessels to improve image quality.

When everything is ready, the radiographer will leave the room to start the scan. During the scan, the table will move in and out of the scanner, and you will be asked to hold your breath multiple times for a few seconds. You will hear a soft “whooshing” sound as the x-ray machine rotates inside the scanner.

The IV contrast will be injected half way through the scan. When the contrast is being administered, you may feel a warm flush throughout your body, as well as a metallic taste in your mouth. This is very common and passes quickly. 

You will be on the CT table for about 10-15 minutes.

CONTACT US

Ashfield

9716 3600

Campsie

 8042 3000

Drummoyne

9911 6800

Five Dock

8705 8300

Hurstville

9598 0100

Newtown

8228 9000

North Strathfield

8282 8100

North Sydney (Mater Imaging)

9955 4466
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