What is a computed tomography angiogram?

A computed tomography angiogram is a medical scan that combines the use of a contrast dye injected into a vein in the arm, with computed tomography, a type of x-ray scanning that creates two- or three-dimensional images. The contrast dye highlights blood vessels in targeted areas of the body or brain.

Your doctor may refer you for a computed tomography angiogram to look for and/or diagnose:
  • an aneurysm (an enlarged blood vessel at risk of rupturing)
  • atherosclerosis (a condition in which blood vessels become narrowed by the build-up of fatty material inside of them) - abnormal blood vessels in your brain
  • blood vessels damaged by injury
  • blood clots that have formed in your legs and traveled to your lungs
  • a tumor and the blood vessels around it
  • congenital abnormalities of blood vessels
Computed tomography angiography can also be used to guide a surgeon during procedures to repair blood vessels, such as stent surgery, or for other procedures such as kidney transplants.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.