Aorta CT scan
What is a CT scan of the thoracic aorta?
Thoracic aorta scanning uses MSCT technology to detect problems with blood flow through your aorta. As the aorta is scanned by CT, an electrocardiogram (ECG) trace is recorded. This information is correlated with CT data to provide highly detailed diagnostic information.
Preparing for aorta scanning
You will be asked to complete a questionnaire regarding your health status, medications and any known allergies. If there is a chance that you are pregnant, let us know before the scan. You may be asked to change into a dress and remove jewelry for scanning.
Medications can also be given to reduce blood flow and slow the heart to make the images even clearer and easier to interpret. We will give the medicine in the form of tablets or through a cannula (thin plastic tube) inserted into the hand. When the ideal pulse is reached, you will be taken to a CT room.
When you are transferred to the CT room, you will feel comfortable at the examination table and be connected to the ECG monitor for the duration of the examination. The preview table puts you in the middle of the CT machine and takes a few preliminary images to confirm the scan position.
X-ray color (contrast) is injected into a vein through a cannula (a thin plastic tube, like a flexible needle) in the hand. The scan is then performed as the contrast passes through your blood vessels. You may notice redness during this injection.
The scan will take about 15 minutes.