Cardiac Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA)

Your physician may prescribe a Cardiac CT Arteriogram/Angiogram (CTA). This test should be able to detect the early stages of heart disease, see how well the heart functions and moves, measure the size of the arteries and examine any blockages inside those arteries. The test may also check the condition of any stents or grafts that are already in place. This CT Scan will use our state-of-the-art 64-Slice CT-Scanner.

If you have had an allergic reaction to IV dye used for CT scan exams or if you know that you have kidney problems and have been told by another doctor not to have IV dye please call 978-937-6566 to speak with the Radiology Nurse before making plans to have this test.

Before Your Appointment

  • Please pre-register for your appointment by calling 978-937-6429 Monday-Friday, 7:00am-6:00pm, or anytime online at Express Registration.
  • An Appointment Reminder with specific instructions for your exam will be mailed to you.
  • Please keep the written order from your physician to bring to the exam.
  • Obtain copies of any recent films from x-rays or scans performed at other facilities to bring to the exam.
  • Be sure to tell your physician if you are allergic to contrast dye or iodine or shellfish.
  • Women who might be pregnant should inform their physicians.  

Exam Preparation

  • Please do not use any stimulants (Viagra or Cialis), for 48 hours before your exam.
  • Please do not take any decongestants (medicine used for colds, allergies or flu symptoms) for 24 hours before your exam.
  • Please do not eat or drink anything containing caffeine; examples are coffee, tea, chocolate or soda for 12 hours before your exam.
  • Please do not eat or drink for 4 hours before your exam.
  • Please do not smoke for at least 1 hour before your exam.
  • Please bring a complete list of your current medications and how much of each medicine you are taking.
  • Please remember that we would like you to arrive at LGH 1 hour before your scheduled exam time.

Things to Remember the Day of Your Exam

Dress comfortably; you will need to change from the waist up. You should also leave earrings and necklaces at home, you will have to remove them before your CT scan and they are safer at home.

During the Procedure

Both the Radiology Nurse and CT Technologist will be with you for the exam. You will have a needle (IV) placed in your arm for the test. You will have the needle (IV) inserted by the Nurse or CT Technologist that will be used for the contrast or "dye" and possibly some medications for your heart.

You will lie on a special table that moves in and out of a donut-shaped opening (CT scanner). The contrast is then injected through this IV and may give you a brief warm sensation. This scanner uses X-Rays and computers to construct the final images that the physicians will then read.  

If you are allergic (or think you might be allergic) to dye or contrasts, or if you have kidney problems, please call 978-937-6566 to speak with the Radiology Nurse before making plans to have this test.

After the Procedure

Remember to drink plenty of fluids after the exam to help flush the dye out of your system. You can resume your regular diet without any restrictions. You should also take your regular medications as directed.

An Important Note for Patients taking Glucophage:

Patients with diabetes who are taking Glucophage (metformin) must stop taking this medication after intravenous injection of contrast material (x-ray dye). A blood test to check for kidney function (serum creatinine) should be performed 48 hours after your exam. The results must be checked by your primary care physician before you resume taking Glucophage. You will be given an order for the follow-up blood test at the time of your CT exam.

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