How to Prepare for a Coronary CTA

You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your exam. You may be given a gown to wear during the procedure.

Metal objects such as jewelry, eyeglasses and hairpins may affect the CT images and should be left at home or removed prior to your exam. You also may be asked to remove hearing aids, dentures and other removable dental work.

You may be asked not to eat or drink anything for several hours beforehand. If a contrast material is used in your exam, you may not eat for eight hours before your exam. You may have clear liquids up until four hours before your procedure. You should inform your doctor of any medications you are taking and if you have any allergies. If you have a known allergy to contrast material, or "dye," your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.

Also inform your doctor of any recent illnesses or other medical conditions, including a history of heart disease, asthma, diabetes, kidney disease or thyroid problems. Any of these conditions may increase the risk of an unusual adverse effect.

On the day before and day of your exam, you will be asked to avoid:

  • Caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, energy drinks, or sodas
  • Diet pills
  • Viagra or any similar medication. It is not compatible with the medications you will receive during the procedure.

One the night before the procedure, you may be asked to take a beta blocker medication to lower your heart rate.

Ask your doctor if you have questions about the instructions given to you.

Women should always inform their doctor and the CT technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant.

If you are breastfeeding at the time of the exam, you should ask your radiologist how to proceed. It may help to pump breast milk ahead of time and keep it on hand for use after contrast material has cleared from your body, about 24 hours after the test.