Angiography is a minimally invasive imaging test that helps doctors diagnose and treat medical conditions. Angiography uses one of three imaging technologies and, in some cases, a contrast material to produce pictures of major blood vessels throughout the body.
Angiography ia performed using:
- X-rays with catheters
- Computed tomography (CT)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
CT imaging uses special X-ray equipment to produce multiple images and a computer to join them together in multidimensional views.
In CT angiography (CTA), computed tomography using a contrast material produces detailed images of both blood vessels and tissues.
Common Uses of the CT Angiography
CT angiography is used to examine blood vessels in key areas of the body, including the:
Doctors use the procedure to:
- Identify disease and aneurysms in the aorta, both in the chest and abdomen, or in other major blood vessels.
- Detect atherosclerosis disease in the carotid artery of the neck, which may limit blood flow to the brain and cause a stroke.
- Identify a small aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation inside the brain.
- Detect atherosclerotic disease that has narrowed the arteries to the legs and help prepare for endovascular intervention or surgery.
- Indicate disease in the arteries to the kidneys or visualize blood flow to help prepare for a kidney transplant.
- Guide interventional radiologists and surgeons making repairs to diseased blood vessels, such as implanting stents or evaluating a stent after implantation.
- Detect injury to one of more arteries in the neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis or extremities in trauma patients.
- Evaluate arteries feeding a tumor prior to surgery or other procedures such as chemoembolization or selective internal radiation therapy.
- Identify dissection or splitting in the aorta in the chest or abdomen or its major branches.
- Show the extent and severity of atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries and plan for a surgical operation, such as a coronary bypass.
- Sample blood from specific veins in the body to detect any endocrine disease.
- Examine pulmonary arteries in the lungs to detect pulmonary embolism (blood clots from leg veins).