How does CT angiography diagnose carotid artery disease?

If your physician wants to evaluate you for carotid artery disease, he or she may recommend diagnostic testing. One such test is computer tomography (CT) angiography.

During a CT scan, the patient lies on a table inside a tube. The tube takes detailed X rays of portions of the human body at different angles to form three-dimensional images. A CT scan can give your physician extensive information about where you may have narrowing in the carotid arteries. For the test, you may also be administered contrast dye, a substance that makes it easier to see the blood vessels. A CT scan uses radiation to form images, so the benefits and risks are weighed before this type of scan is performed.
A CT angiography provides your cardiologist with a 3D image that allows them to see clots and surface details such as plaques and calcifications.