CT Angiogram Abdominal Arteries
CT angiogram abdominal arteries is performed to assess the major blood vessels in the abdomen and pelvis, including the Inferior vena cava, Aorta, and its several branches supplying almost everything that lies in the abdomen. CT angiogram is a radiological test that utilizes a combination of a CT scan and intravenous contrast dye injection. It uses a series of X-rays from different angles and a computer to create detailed images of blood vessels enhanced by the contrast dye. Through this technique, a doctor is able to visualize the diseases/conditions affecting blood vessels.
CT angiogram can be done with or without contrast. Contrast is a special dye that is usually injected through a vein in your arm to enhance the image quality.
Why and when do you need this test?
The major blood vessel of the abdomen is the aorta which gives off several branches to supply almost all the organs, namely, the stomach, the intestines (small and large), the pancreas, the liver and gallbladder, the uterus, the fallopian tubes, the ovaries, the kidneys, the ureters, and the bladder. Any signs and symptoms related to these organs and the possibility of involvement of a blood vessel defect can be diagnosed by a CT angiogram of the abdomen and pelvis. Your doctor may advise a CT angiogram abdominal arteries for the following reasons:
- Abdominal or pelvic pain
- Blood in the stool or urine (Hematuria)
- Trauma to the abdomen or pelvis
- Suspecting Abnormal dilatation (aneurysm), constriction, or blockage of blood vessels
- Suspected inflammation of the blood vessels
- Suspected tear in the aorta (dissection)
- For tumor evaluation (when its fed by blood vessels)
- For evaluation before and after a planned procedure or surgery related to the abdominal blood vessels
- Suspected masses, tumors, cancers, and abscesses of the abdominal or pelvic organs
- To evaluate for persistent hypertension (to detect renal stenosis)
Do you need to prepare for the test?
- When the procedure is done using a contrast agent, you will be requested to stop eating 3-4 hours before the test. However, you can drink clear fluids and take regular medications normally unless your doctor advises otherwise.
- You can normally eat if no contrast is intended to be used.
- You should not be wearing any jewelry, metal clips, or metallic thing on the day of the exam as it can interfere with the radiation and may affect the image.
- You should prefer to wear an article of easy clothing to feel comfortable, or you would be given a hospital gown for the proper exposure of the area.
- Inform the doctor if you are pregnant, as the use of X-rays is involved in this procedure which can be dangerous for the developing baby.
- The contrast used for the procedure may have iodine and can cause some allergic reactions or endanger a diseased kidney. Inform your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to iodine or have kidney disease.
- The ‘metformin’ medicine taken by diabetic patients can interact with the contrast agent, so let the doctor know if you are diabetic and taking metformin.
What can you expect?
- For the contrast CT angiogram, the nurse will prick a vein in your hand or arm to establish a cannula for the injection of the contrast material.
- You may also be given a liquid contrast to drink before the exam.
- You will be asked to lie down on the table with your arms above your head.
- The table will slide into the CT scan machine that looks like a large donut with a tunnel.
- You would be requested to lie down still and avoid movements to prevent the images from getting blurry.
- The test will last for about 15-30 minutes.
- You can also feel a warm flush in your body and a metallic taste in the mouth during the contrast injection, but it will go away soon.
Are there any risks to this test?
It is a non-invasive test that uses low doses of X-rays that poses no risks. However, X-rays can harm the baby inside the mother’s womb, so don’t forget to inform your doctor about your pregnancy.
The contrast material used can be harmful to diseased kidneys. Inform your doctor if you have kidney disease.
There is a slight chance of allergic reaction to the contrast material, but it can be controlled through medicines. Inform your doctor if you have had an allergic reaction to iodine before.
If you are a diabetic patient and take metformin, inform your doctor, as it may interact with the contrast agent resulting in unwanted and harmful reactions.
What do the test results mean?
A CT angiogram may show the following disorders:
- Renal Artery Stenosis
- Abdominal Aneurysms and pseudoaneurysm
- Renal vein thrombosis
- Venous thrombosis
- Vascular invasion by the tumor
- Diseases of the portal venous system
- Inferior vena cava blockage
- Thrombus formation or embolism in blood vessels
- Aortic aneurysm (dilatation)
- Aortic dissection (tear)
- Vasculitis (Takayasu's arteritis)
- Aortic coarctation
- Retroperitoneal hematoma
- Doppler ultrasound of the abdomen and pelvis
- MR angiography of the abdomen and pelvis
Frequently ordered together
CT Angiogram-Abdominal Aorta and Pelvis
Doppler Renal Artey Stenosis Evaluation
CT Angiogram Abdominal Arteries
MR Angiogram Abdomen with And without Contrast
MR Angiogram Lower Extremity with And without Contrast
Ultrasound Arterial Doppler
Lower Ext Arterial Duplex Bilateral
Upper Ext Arterial Duplex Unilateral
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