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Home > Pre-Test Instructions > Cardiac CTA

Cardiac CTA

Many radiological exams require specific patient preparation prior to the exam in order to ensure that the study is performed in the safest and most accurate manner possible. If you are scheduled for one of the following studies, follow the instructions exactly as written unless your MD says otherwise. If you have any questions or feel that you cannot comply with the instructions, be sure to call the Department of Radiology at (716) 278-4341 or the CT Department at (716) 278-4166.

A Cardiac CTA is a sophisticated CT scan of your heart and surrounding blood vessels.

Before Exam:
Do NOT have any caffeine 12 hours prior to the exam.
Do NOT eat any solid foods 4 hours prior to exam.
Drink 2 glasses of water (8 oz.) 1 hour prior to exam.

During the exam:
You may receive an oral Beta-Blocker. This medicine works in about an hour and slows the heart rate to less than seventy-two beats per minute. Once the heart race is slowed, the scan will begin.
You will have a contrast solution (dye). A needle will be placed in your left arm, around the elbow area.
You will have a 4 lead Electrocardiogram (EKG) attached to monitor heart rate.
You will have oxygen via nasal canola (oxygen tube under your nose) to ensure steady breathing during the exam.
You will receive one squirt of nitroglycerine during your exam.
This is given under your tongue and is used to increase blood flow to the heart.

Following the exam:
Be sure to eat and to also drink plenty of liquids.

The information found on this site is general in nature and some of it may not apply to your specific situation. The information is also subject to change as medical knowledge advances and new methods of treatment are developed.

We encourage you to discuss your condition and treatment with your physician. Do not hesitate to contact your physician if you have any questions.

These instructions do not take the place of directions given to you by your MD.

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