Coronary Computed Tomographic Angiography
Patient Guideline Summary
Publication Date: November 19, 2020
This patient summary means to discuss key recommendations from the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography for coronary computed tomographic angiography.
- Coronary arteries supply the heart muscle with blood. When they are diseased, they cause heart attacks.
- We will use the abbreviation CT throughout this summary to refer to computed tomography and CTA to refer to computed tomographic angiography (imaging blood vessels).
- The most common cause of disease in coronary arteries is arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).
- Symptoms include heavy chest pain, heart pounding, light headedness, and sudden death.
- This patient summary focuses on imaging coronary arteries with CT.
- If you have symptoms suggesting a heart attack, CTA of your coronary arteries is frequently the best initial test to determine both the diagnosis and the extent of disease in your coronary arteries.
- Variations in technique allow quantitative measurements of blood flow and perfusion of blood into the heart muscle.
- Other imaging methods and tests such as electrocardiograms and laboratory studies will further detail your condition.
- Urgent opening of damaged coronary arteries often follows evaluation. Methods include coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and inserting stents through catheters.
- CABG: Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
- CT: Computed Tomography
- CTA: Computed Tomographic Angiography
Narula J, Chandrashekhar Y, Ahmadi A, Abbara S, Berman DS, Blankstein R, Leipsic J, Newby D, Nicol ED, Nieman K, Shaw L, Villines TC, Williams M, Hecht HS. SCCT 2021 Expert Consensus Document on Coronary Computed Tomographic Angiography: A Report of the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography. J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr. 2021 May-Jun;15(3):192-217. doi: 10.1016/j.jcct.2020.11.001. Epub 2020 Nov 20. PMID: 33303384; PMCID: PMC8713482.
The information in this patient summary should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Contact a health care provider if you have questions about your health.