Coronary CT Angiography (Cardiac CT or CCTA) is a CT scan of the heart and can show any narrowings or blockages of the coronary arteries. It is often used to determine if chest pains are caused by these narrowings or blockages.
Imaging Associates Cardiology offers a weekly rapid assessment clinic at Imaging Associates Box Hill. We work with a number of cardiologists who are available to assess patients with chest pains and determine the most appropriate test. If patients are appropriate for coronary CTA, they will undergo some preparation before returning for the scan in the following week. Coronary CTA scans require a referral from a specialist and is covered by Medicare with a small out of pocket fee. Attendance of the Rapid Assessment Clinic will require a referral from your GP.
All CTCA scans require a referral from a Specialist to be eligible for Medicare Rebate.
A Calcium Score CT requires a referral from your GP or Specialist. There is no Medicare Rebate available for Calcium Scores.
Some of the common reasons CCTA’s are preformed are:
- investigation of chest pain
- assessment of patency of bypass grafts in patients who have had open heart bypass surgery
- to rule out coronary disease as a reason for poor heart function
- to help specialists plan for some procedures
- to assess patients with congenital heart disease
- to assess children with complex cardiac disease
When you arrive at Imaging Associates Box Hill one of our cardiac nurses will take you to a change room where you will be given a gown to change into. The nurse will then perform a set of basic observations such as monitoring the heart rate and blood pressure. The success of the Coronary CT scan will depend on a regular and slow heart rate (usually less than 60 beats per minute), if required we may give you medication to lower you heart rate. An injection of x-ray contrast is needed during the scan to show the coronary vessels. This will require an IV cannula (a small plastic tube) to be inserted in a vein near the elbow.
The Coronary CT scan takes about 15 minutes, however depending on your heart rate when you arrive you can expect to be at Imaging Associates between 1-2 hours in total.
- No caffeine or stimulants on day of the scan eg. tea, coffee, coca-cola, energy drinks, Viagra etc.
- Please have only a small lunch at least one hour prior to the scan.
- No alcohol to be consumed the day before, nor day of the scan.
- No heavy exercise the morning of your scan
- Ensure you have had a blood test to check your renal function within the last 3 months
- Your doctor may have prescribed a medication called Metoprolol (a beta-blocker) to slow your heart rate:
- Metoprolol may cause low blood pressure – you may feel light headed or dizzy.
- To prevent these symptoms or dehydration, DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.
- It is advisable you do not drive yourself if you experience any dizziness; we recommend you arrange to have someone drive you home.