Advantages of CT Angiography
Less invasive and more patient-friendly than catheter angiography, CT angiography in most individuals has an almost negligible risk of complications. Patients are almost always able to leave immediately following the procedure and resume normal activities. While catheter angiography is still considered the gold standard for diagnosis of arterial disease and is necessary for intervention (stent, balloon, etc), it does require hospitalization, entry of an artery and post-procedural recovery. Although CT Angiography does not always replace invasive coronary angiography, patients and their physicians will have a better understanding of what type of intervention might be required at the time of hospitalization. For many patients, CT angiography may eliminate the need for invasive coronary angiography and together with a calcium score is highly predictive of patient outcomes.
The CT Angiography Procedure
The procedure begins by starting an intravenous line (IV), usually in the arm, through which the contrast agent is administered. The patient is placed upon the CT scanning table, and during the injection may experience a brief warming sensation as the contrast enters the body. The procedure generally lasts only minutes and the actual images are obtained in less than 10 seconds. The IV is then removed and the patient can resume normal activities. The images are then reviewed and processed so they can be analyzed three dimensionally with specialized software on powerful computers. Our physicians then review the images, developing anatomical displays of the examined vessels. A detailed report is sent promptly to the referring physician or is available on-line with our secure electronic medical record, NotesMD. Images, CDs and reports are also available to patients upon request.
Your Partner and Provider
Cardiovascular Medical Group of Southern California physicians are available for consultation and follow up as needed by community physicians and patients in providing optimal cardiac care. For more information about how we can support your efforts with CT angiography or other CT scans, please call Cardiovascular Medical Group of Southern California at 310.278.3400.