Coronary CTA

SJRA Cardiac Imaging Services

A non-invasive imaging examination is performed to determine if fatty or calcium deposits have built up in coronary arteries. Arteries are evaluated for narrowing, blockage, enlargement, or anomalies. CTA provides valuable information about the nature of blockages (soft plaque vs. hard calcified plaque) and the wall of the vessel. In the past, this information could only be obtained by invasive Cardiac Catheterization which shows only if an artery is narrowed. CTA identifies soft plaque. Artery narrowing with as little as 30% of soft plaque can rupture and result in a heart attack within seconds. Coronary CTA enables patients to know if they have coronary artery disease before it’s too late. With newer CT scanners such as those at SJRA this information can be obtained at a fraction of the dose of cardiac cath or stress perfusion imaging.


The Most Advanced CT Scanner in the World

SJRA is proud to announce that we are among the first in the world to have the latest, revolutionary CT scanner. The Definition Scanner integrates two X-ray sources and two sets of 64 detectors for the most detailed clinical images available. The Definition is also one of the fastest CT systems on the market. It can capture cardiac images in a few seconds.

Who should have a Coronary CTA?

  • Patients who require evaluation for chest pain syndrome / angina.
  • Patients who have at least one or two risk factors for coronary artery disease and who are symptomatic.
  • Patients who have known cardiac disease and require reevaluation of their coronary vessels but who may not want or cannot have invasive catheterization.
  • Patients who are symptomatic for aortic dissection or pulmonary emboli.

Why is a Coronary CTA better than other cardiac tests?

Coronary CTA is low risk and high yield. This study provides unprecedented information about the coronary arteries as well as surrounding tissue and organs. In other words, the radiologists at SJRA expertly evaluate all visualized structures identified including the lungs.

Who should interpret a coronary CTA?

Although interventional cardiologists and Cardiac imaging radiologists both specialize in coronary anatomy, the images obtained during coronary CTA are digital and require expert post processing to enable high quality, highly detailed interpretation using extensive 3D and 4 D multiformating. Only radiologists have over five years of training in the use of workstation interpretation.

Incidental findings such as lung disease, cancer, cysts, and hiatal hernias have been identified by Radiologist in patients who have this study performed at SJRA. These findings are frequently missed or even purposefully not included in processing when studies are not interpreted by a radiologist.

Why Choose SJRA?

We have one of the most sophisticated scanners available with two tubes and 128 detectors. We have the largest and best trained group of cardiac imagers in the Delaware Valley, including Philadelphia.

What preparation is required for a Coronary CTA?

In preparation for the study, patients should:

  • Avoid caffeine products for 12 hours prior to this study
  • Not eat for three hours prior to this study
  • Arrive 20 minutes prior to your scheduled study so that your vital signs can be obtained and an IV can be placed in your arm.

How long does the scan take?

Approximately 10 minutes on the CT table. The actual CTA acquisition ranges from 10 to 20 seconds.

All of our centers are fully accredited by the American College of Radiology.

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