Professor Ramon Varcoe

CT Angiogram

Computed Tomography (CT) scanning is one of the most commonly used tests required by doctors to diagnose medical conditions and plan for their treatment.

It utilises x-rays emitted from a spiralling source within a CT scanner gantry to provide 2-dimensional cuts through the human body. Sophisticated computer systems then reconstuct the data from these images to give detailed 3-dimensional images like the ones seen on the right.

Vascular specialists are often looking for specific information about the arteries and veins, examining for narrowing, blockage, impingement or aneurysm. To achieve clear images of these blood vessels contrast dye must be injected (usually through an intravenous drip in the arm) and scanned as it passes through the blood vessel of interest. This often gives a short lasting, warm, flushed sensation as it passes through the patient’s body.

The test usually takes 30-60 minutes and requires little preparation, however you should enquire as to whether fasting is required when you make the appointment.

For more detailed information please see the attached patient handout.