Coronary CT Angiography (CCTA)
A non-invasive test for coronary artery disease
Patients sometimes experience chest discomfort that may or may not be an indication of heart disease. Coronary catheterization has been used as a test to confirm or rule out heart disease as the cause of the chest pain. However, coronary catheterizations involve a risk of complications and require recovery time.
Coronary CT angiography (CTA) is an imaging exam that provides a non-invasive alternative for patients experiencing chest pain of uncertain origin. The exam uses X-rays, injected contrast material, and a medication that temporarily slows the heart rate to allow a radiologist to observe blood flowing through the coronary arteries and evaluate the level, if any, of narrowing or blockage.
When heart disease is ruled out through a coronary CTA, doctors can continue efforts to find other sources of the chest pain, such as digestive or musculoskeletal issues. If the exam confirms blockage or narrowing of the arteries consistent with coronary artery disease, the findings can help to develop a treatment plan.