Computed Tomography Angiography

(CTA)

Definition

Computed tomography angiography (CTA) is a specialized x-ray that examines blood flow in blood vessels when they are filled with a contrast material. Contrast material is a substance that makes the blood vessels show on an x-ray. Computed tomography (CT) uses a complex machine to take x-rays from many different views, producing detailed 2-dimensional images that can be combined by a computer to form 3-dimensional images.CTA can be used to view blood vessels throughout the body. It is most commonly used to study the:
  • Brain
  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Kidneys
  • Legs or arms
Blood Vessel in Brain
Blood Flow Brain
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Reasons for Test

This test is used to help identify diseased, narrowed, enlarged, and blocked blood vessels and locate where internal bleeding may be occurring. Some specific uses include:
  • Detecting atherosclerosis , a narrowing of the arteries
  • Detecting an aneurysm, a ballooning out of a section of a blood vessel
  • Examining arteries in the lungs to check for blockage of a blood vessel
  • Evaluating disease in kidney arteries
Heart Attack
Heart Attack
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Possible Complications

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
  • Allergic reactions to contrast material
  • Excess bleeding
  • Kidney damage

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