CT coronary angiography (cardiac CT scan)

CT coronary angiography, also known as cardiac CT scan and computed tomography angiography (CTA) is a quick and painless imaging test to diagnose a variety of heart conditions.

What is a CT coronary angiography

A computerised tomography (CT) coronary angiogram is a non-invasive, fast and detailed imaging test. It shows your blood flow through your coronary arteries and looks for any narrowing in them.

Coronary CT angiography uses X-rays and computer technology to produce detailed images of your heart and its blood vessels. It detects both hard calcified plaque and soft noncalcified plaque. Soft plaque may not be detected using standard imaging and can cause heart attacks and other significant health issues.

A CT coronary angiography might be done to diagnose the cause of chest pain or other symptoms. It can help diagnose or rule out heart disease, artery disease and congenital abnormalities.

What is the difference between a CT angiography scan and a coronary angiogram?

The differences between a CT angiography and a coronary angiogram are best explained as follows:

A CT angiography scan

  • You lie on a table that glides through a large tube which contains an X-ray camera that rotates and captures images of your heart. A computer creates detailed 3D pictures of your heart and blood vessels.
  • Non-invasive.
  • Detailed 3D images are created.
  • Dye, and sometimes medication to slow your heart rate, is injected through a small needle into a vein in your arm
  • If a CT angiography finds that you have narrowing coronary arteries, you will need a standard coronary angiogram to determine treatment such as coronary angioplasty and stenting.
  • Requires very little preparation and no recovery time.

A coronary angiogram

  • A long thin catheter tube is inserted into your artery or vein in your groin or arm and is passed into your heart. X-ray images are taken.

Invasive test as it involves puncturing your skin and inserting a catheter inside your body.

  • Less detailed, standard X-ray images.
  • Dye is injected through a large needle into an artery in your groin.
  • If you have known coronary artery disease you can also receive treatment during the procedure.
  • Some treatments such as angioplasty can be performed at the same time if needed.
  • Preparation and recovery may be longer if treatment is required.

Is CT coronary angiography better than a coronary angiogram?

Neither a CT coronary angiography nor a coronary angiogram is better. They are used in different situations based on a patient’s health needs and circumstances.

Doctors tend to use CT coronary angiography in patients with a low to moderate risk of coronary artery disease. The doctor is able to diagnose and not treat patients and so it might be preferential if they suspect that medication might be an appropriate treatment rather than a surgical treatment such as a stent. Some patients are not good candidates for a CT coronary angiogram including those who may not fit into the machine, patients with irregular or fast heart rhythms who are unable to take medication to slow their heart rate, and patients who are not able to lie flat, follow voice instructions, or hold their breath for up to 20 seconds.

Coronary angiogram is most often recommended for patients with a high risk of coronary artery disease. It is the most common method for detecting narrowed arteries and coronary artery stenosis that may require surgical treatment such as a stent or bypass surgery. In these cases, it can be used to diagnose and treat a patient in a single session.

What is the cost of a CT angiography?

The cost of a CT angiography will depend on your Ramsay hospital of choice.

You will receive a formal quotation price for your CT coronary angiography following your consultation with one of our expert cardiologists. This formal quote for a CT angiogram will be valid for 60 days.

Ramsay is recognised by all major medical insurers. A CT angiogram is covered by most medical insurance policies. We advise you to obtain written authorisation from your insurance provider before your CT angiogram.

We have a number of finance options if you are paying for your CT angiography test yourself. We offer interest-free finance so you pay 0% interest, no deposit and benefit from affordable monthly instalments.

CT coronary angiography at Ramsay Health Care UK

Ramsay Health Care UK is pleased to offer the highly detailed 3D image capturing CT coronary angioplasty.

We offer convenient appointments with experienced and highly skilled cardiologists who will recommend the best cardiology test for your needs. CT coronary angiography at Ramsay Health Care UK can help in the early diagnosis of narrowing coronary arteries or the all-clear for patients who are experiencing symptoms. Rapid treatment can be arranged if required.

Our stringent protocols for infection control will keep you and our staff safe whilst visiting one of our Ramsay hospitals.

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