CT Coronary Angiography (CTCA) is the X-ray imaging of blood vessels using contrast agents injected into the bloodstream.
CTCA uses computed tomography (CT) scanning to take pictures or images (angiograms) of the coronary arteries of the beating heart. These arteries supply blood to the heart muscle, and disease of these vessels (atherosclerosis) is responsible for most heart attacks.
Liquid contrast agents, sometimes called contrast medium, are injected into a vein (usually in the arm). Contrast agents increase the density of the blood in the vessels, and allow the inside and outside structure of blood vessels to be clearly visible on the CT angiogram images.
Medication to slow down the heart rate might also be given to make the images even clearer and easier to interpret. This will either be given in tablet form or into a vein through a cannula (a thin plastic tube) inserted in the arm.