CT Angiography (CTA) at St. Francis Hospital is performed on a 16 slice multidetector CT scanner. The study involves an intravenous contrast injection, which is often used in many other CT studies. Scan times are so rapid that, for instance, the entire chest can be imaged in a single breath hold. Hundreds of images are acquired that are then sent to a computer workstation. Using this workstation, the radiologist reconstructs the data into images that display the vessels from multiple angles.
CT Angiography is used to evaluate the blood supply to all parts of the body. Head and neck CTA is used to detect aneurysms (abnormal ballooning of vessels) or areas of stenosis or blockage. CTA of the chest is used routinely to evaluate the heart, aorta and the pulmonary vessels. CTA of the abdomen, pelvis and extremities looks at the blood supply to the various organ systems and well as the vessels that go all the way to the fingers and toes. This non invasive technology replaces invasive catheter based angiograms.