SMIL performs brain CT angiography (CTA) to help diagnose conditions to identify a small aneurysm or arteriovenous malformation (abnormal communications between blood vessels) inside the brain.
During your brain CT Angiography, the technologist will begin by positioning you on the CT examination table, usually lying flat on your back or less commonly, on your side or on your stomach. Straps and pillows may be used to help you maintain the correct position and to help you remain still during the exam.
If contrast is used an automatic injection pump connected to the IV will give contrast material at a controlled rate. In some cases, especially in children and patients with fragile and small veins, the contrast is hand-injected using a syringe. A small amount of contrast material may initially be injected through the IV to determine how long it will take for the contrast to reach the body part that is being evaluated.
During scanning, the table is positioned at the start point of imaging and will then move relatively rapidly through the opening of the machine as the actual CT scanning is performed.
You may be asked to hold your breath during the scanning. Any motion, whether breathing or body movements, can lead to artifacts on the images. This loss of image quality can resemble the blurring seen on a photograph taken of a moving object.
When the examination is completed, you will be asked to wait until the technologist verifies that the images are of high enough quality for accurate interpretation.
The entire CT angiography exam may be completed within a few seconds. Your actual time in the scanner room will be longer as the technologist will have to position you on the table, check or place an IV line, do preliminary imaging to verify the beginning and end points of the exam, and set up the scanner and contrast injection settings based on the part of the body being imaged.
Learn how to prepare for the scan in the Brain CT Angiography preparations section.
Find out if this procedure is right for you in the benefits and risks of Brain CT Angiography section.
For a downloadable/printable PDF about this exam with preparation instructions click here.