Computerized Tomographic Angiography (CTA) shows clarity of blood vessels, differentiation between arteries and veins, and, unlike MRA imaging, CTA can capture evidence of calcium deposits. This pioneering technology replaces often-inaccurate stress testing and potentially dangerous catheterization.
What is CT Angiography?
CT Angiography, or CTA, is an examination that uses x-rays to visualize blood flow in blood vessels throughout the body, from arteries serving the brain to those bringing blood to the lungs, kidneys, and arms and legs. CT combines the use of x-rays with computerized analysis of the images. Beams of x-rays are passed from a rotating device through the area of interest in the patient’s body from several different angels so as to create cross-sectional images, which then are assembled by computer into a three-dimensional picture of the area being studied.
What are some common uses of the procedure? CTA is commonly used to:
- Examine the pulmonary arteries in the lungs to rule out pulmonary embolism, a serious but treatable condition.
- Visualize blood flow in veins and arteries throughout the body.
- Visualize blood flow specifically in the renal arteries in patients with high blood pressure and those suspected of having kidney disorders.
- Identify aneurysms in the aorta or in other major blood vessels. Also to identify dissection in the aorta or its major branches.
- Identify a small aneurysm or arterio-venous malformation inside the brain that can be life-threatening.
- Detect atherosclerotic disease that has narrowed the arteries to the legs.
- CTA is also used to detect narrowing or obstruction of arteries in the carotid arteries bringing blood from the heart to the brain.