CT combines the use of x-rays with computerized analysis of the images. Beams of x-rays are passed from a rotating device through the area of interest in the patient's body from several different angles to obtain projection images, which then are assembled by computer into a three-dimensional picture of the area being studied. CTA can be used to examine blood vessels in many key areas of the body, including the coronary arteries, brain, kidneys, pelvis, and the lungs
- Exclude coronary artery disease, especially in low to intermediate risk patients.
- Examine the pulmonary arteries in the lungs to rule out pulmonary embolism.
- Visualize blood flow in the renal arteries. Also done in prospective kidney donors.
- Identify aneurysms in the aorta or in other major blood vessels.
- Identify dissection in the aorta or its major branches.
- Identify a small aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation inside the brain.
- Detect atherosclerotic disease that has narrowed the arteries to the legs.