CTCA is a relatively new test, and the techniques are still evolving with the rapid development of new equipment. There is still disagreement amongst specialist doctors (cardiologists and radiologists) as to the benefits of the test. Published information would suggest that if this test is carried out and no coronary artery disease is detected, your doctor can use this information to manage your symptoms. When the coronary arteries show abnormalities, then your doctor can change your treatment according to the details of the abnormalities shown.
Ask your doctor if you will get contrast dye as part of the CT scan. Before getting the dye, be sure to let your health care team know if you’ve ever had a reaction to contrast dye, seafood, or iodine in the past. This is important because reactions to these things may put you at risk for reacting to the contrast dye used in CT scans. If there’s a risk that you might have an allergic reaction, you may be given a test dose of the contrast dye first. People who have had a severe reaction in the past may need to take drugs (usually a steroid, like prednisone) to help prevent another reaction. Sometimes these drugs need to be started the day before the scan.
More technically difficult cases with an increased number of needle placement series were also associated with a higher level of radiation exposure. Difficult cases with a high DLP required an average needle placements compared to for the average DLP cases. The authors recommend that when difficult procedures are anticipated with patients who have complex anatomy, the planning series should be lengthened. They commented that because elderly patients tend to have more degenerative stenosis than younger patients, elderly patients may require more technically demanding procedures. “Minimizing this series to a single target level by using pre-procedure imaging would reduce radiation dose as the planning series typically accounts for 30% to 60% of the total dose from the procedure,” they wrote.