A CT angiogram is a way of looking at the blood vessels in different parts of your body.
A small cannula is placed in a vein in your arm and then IV contrast is injected at a fast rate while you are in the CT scanner. The scanner will image the part of your body that your doctor wants assessed, such as with an abdominal aorta angiogram. The CT scanner can reconstruct the images in 3D to give a really clear picture of the vessels and show problems like narrowing and aneurysms.
A cannula will be placed in your arm before the scan. You will lie on your back with your arms above your head. During the injection of IV contrast, your chest and abdomen will pass through the scanner as the images are taken.
Before your Scan
Before the scan, you may be asked to change into an examination gown for your comfort, and to ensure clothing does not affect the images and diagnostic quality of the scan. You may also be asked to remove jewellery, eye-glasses and any metal objects that might interfere with the images.
15 – 30 minutes.
Risks / Side effects
As part of the CT, you may need to have an injection of a IV contrast . This medication is administered intravenously (injection into vein) through a needle. When the injection goes in you may have a warm feeling in the face, neck or pelvis. This usually lasts for a brief period then disappears. These feelings are normal and not an allergic reaction.
Occasionally (<1%), mild allergic reactions such as a rash, hives or sneezing can occur. These usually develop at the time of scanning, do not require treatment and settle rapidly. Sometimes a mild reaction such as a skin rash may occur from 1 hour to 1 week after injection.
Less commonly (<1 in 100,000 patients), more severe reactions can occur including asthma or shock. Severe, life threatening reactions up to and including death have occurred but are extremely rare. In the event of a reaction, we have equipment and trained staff available to begin immediate treatment.
Read more information on IV contrast.
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