CT Angiography (CTA) is used to examine blood vessels and the organs supplied by those blood vessels in various body parts, including the brain, neck, heart, chest, abdomen (kidneys, liver, etc.), pelvis, legs, feet, arms, and hands.
Physicians use this test to diagnose and evaluate many diseases of blood vessels and related conditions such as injury, Aneurysms, blockages (including those from blood clots or plaques), disorganized blood vessels & blood supply to tumors, and congenital (birth related) abnormalities of the heart, blood vessels or various parts of the body which might be supplied by abnormal blood vessels.
Physicians also use this exam to check blood vessels following surgery. For example, a CT Angiography can identify abnormalities, such as aneurysms, in the aorta, the chest, abdomen, or in other arteries. In addition, this test can also identify a small aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation (abnormal communications between blood vessels) inside the brain or other parts of the body and identify dissection or splitting in the aorta in the chest or abdomen or its major branches.
CTA can detect atherosclerotic (plaque) disease in the carotid artery of the neck, which may limit blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke. This test can also detect atherosclerotic disease that has narrowed the arteries to the legs and even help prepare for endovascular intervention or surgery. Additionally, CTA can detect disease in the arteries to the kidneys or visualize blood flow to help prepare for a kidney transplant. Detection of injury to one or more arteries in the neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis or extremities in patients after trauma is also possible using CTA.
CTA’s guide interventional radiologists and surgeons making repairs to diseased blood vessels, such as implanting stents or evaluating a stent after implantation and evaluate arteries feeding a tumor prior to surgery or other procedures such as chemoembolization or selective internal radiation therapy. They also show the extent and severity of the effects of coronary artery disease and plan for a surgical operation, such as a coronary bypass and stenting. When examining pulmonary arteries in the lungs to detect pulmonary embolism (blood clots, such as those traveling from leg veins) or pulmonary arteriovenous malformations, your doctor might use this procedure to look at congenital abnormalities in blood vessels, and help evaluate obstructions of vessels