Contrast is injected through a vein in your arm and shows up as bright on a CT image. It helps our radiologists identify and characterize atherosclerotic disease (also called plaque or hardening of the arteries). It is so useful that it is always utilized.
A small percentage of patients will have an allergic reaction to iodinated contrast (which is used in IVPs). Patients should alert their doctors if they have had an allergic reaction to contrast in the past. If they have had a prior allergic reaction they may be given medication to prevent a repeat reaction. If a patient has an allergic reaction during the exam our radiologists are prepared to deal with these situations.
Emergency or STAT reports are called to your doctor following completion of your examination. He will have a report faxed within 24 hours, and have the official typed report within 24-48 hours.
Coronary CTA is one of the only studies where you will likely be able to go over the results prior to leaving our office. There are certain times when it is impossible to read the study quickly and accurately; during these times you will be instructed to make an appointment to come back to review your study.
The average length of time is around fifteen minutes. Of course, the test is not initiated until your heart rate is in the acceptable range, usually below 65 beats per minute.