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Cardiac Computed Tomography Angiography (CCTA)

Cardiac Computed Tomography Angiography (CCTA)

CCTA is a noninvasive 3D imaging test that detects any blockage or stenosis in the heart’s blood vessels, which can lead to Coronary artery disease. It is also used to assess the heart’s overall function. 

In this test, a nontoxic dye is injected through the IV route, and it is usually done in the hand or the arm. A CT scan is used to examine any blockage or stenosis in the arteries of the heart. CCTA will provide the images of the heart when the dye is injected into all diseased areas of the heart.

How long does a CCTA test take?

A slow and steady heart rate is ideal for optimal imaging during a CCTA (Cardiac Computed Tomography Angiography) test, which typically lasts around 15 minutes. 

The procedure involves administering contrast dye through an intravenous line, enhancing visualization of the coronary arteries. 

This dye allows for detailed imaging of the heart and blood vessels, aiding in the detection of blockages or narrowing. Despite its brevity, the CCTA provides valuable insights into cardiac health, guiding treatment decisions and improving patient outcomes.

Why would a patient need a CCTA?

  1. The Doctor will recommend a CCTA if the patient has symptoms of Coronary artery disease (CAD), like pain in the left shoulder, neck and arms. Also, if the patient is suffering from an irregular heartbeat- arrhythmia –  if the patient is having difficulty in breathing.

  2. The doctor can also recommend CCTA if the ECG or echocardiogram test results are abnormal.

  3. The doctor will suggest CCTA to see the patency of coronary bypass grafts.

Additionally, a CCTA may be warranted if a patient has a history of heart disease risk factors such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, or smoking. It can help evaluate the extent of arterial plaque buildup or assess the effectiveness of previous interventions like stents. 

Moreover, for patients with chest pain or other cardiac symptoms but low to intermediate risk of CAD, CCTA serves as a non-invasive tool for accurate diagnosis, guiding further management decisions with precision and minimizing unnecessary invasive procedures.

Instructions were given to patients before the procedure

  • The patient is advised to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes or might need to change into a gown for a procedure.

  • Metal objects like jewelry, eyeglasses or any other item should not be removed before the procedure.

  • The patient is advised not to eat or drink anything a few hours before the procedure.

How much does it cost?

CCTA costs fluctuate between $311 and $650, contingent on the facility’s geographical location and city of operation. 

This cardiac imaging procedure provides crucial insights into coronary artery health, aiding in the diagnosis of conditions such as coronary artery disease (CAD). 

Variations in pricing reflect regional healthcare economies and facility fees, ensuring the accessibility and affordability of this valuable diagnostic tool for patients.

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