It is the minimally invasive study of the arteries of different parts of the body through the injection of intravenous contrast medium. This contrast is usually injected into a vein in the arm. The cerebral, carotid, aortic, or pulmonary arteries can be studied. The equipment software allows obtaining 3- dimensional images of them. It is used to study obstructions, aneurysms, or thrombus embolism . When booking your time, check with the centers that offer this service. You will be asked about a risk history for contrast medium injection. If you wish, you can print the questionnaire for this purpose and take it on the day of your exam, this will save you time.
The objective of the Angio-CAT is to visualize the arteries or veins of a part of the body and to determine if they present any malformation, calcifications, stenosis (narrowness) or aneurysms (dilation) that can significantly alter their diameter with the consequent risk of cause disease, internal bleeding or stroke. At the same time we will be able to observe other types of injuries and particular characteristics of the veins and arteries . It also allows verifying the patency of the stents and bypasses in those patients who have already undergone surgery, that is, checking their proper functioning.
Advantages over conventional catheterization
As a diagnostic test, the main difference with conventional catheterization is its simplicity for the patient, since it does not require admission or any catheter must be introduced into the area to be studied with the possible complications that this would entail.
Need to practice this test
In general for all the people that your doctor considers appropriate to request it and especially for those in whom there is suspicion of vascular disease, a history of angina pectoris, high blood pressure, vascular headaches, with positive stress tests, suspicion of aneurysms or thrombosis and even as an assessment method in the case of personal cardiovascular risk factors .
To carry out this test, a multi-cut helical CAT scan equipment was used, previously known as CT or Scanner. Basically it consists of the combination of an X-ray emitter that quickly rotates around the person to be studied while the patient slides on a support through the Gantry (TAC hole about 70 cm in diameter by 30 in depth, “as a big donut ”). In this way, when passing through the body the X-rays are deviated and / or attenuated by the individual’s own matter, alterations that are picked up by the detectors and that through a large-capacity computer will be interpreted to form the topographic images, as if they were Thin slices of your body.
None at all, just a 6 hour fast .
The person to be explored should remain lying on the examination table and in a vein of one arm, preferably in the right arm, a venous line will be placed through a needle more or less similar to the one used for an analysis. of blood and through which intravenous contrast will be injected. At the right moment of data collection, you must remain still and hold your breath for a few seconds (no more than 8) to prevent movement of the chest and abdomen and thus ensure good image definition.
It is a liquid that contains iodine and that when mixed with blood allows us to differentiate the arteries and veins of the body. When introduced into the body, it usually produces a sensation of intense heat and even a strange taste in the mouth that disappears on its own in a few seconds. It is eliminated through the urine and except for people with kidney failure or allergies, it does not require special attention.
What is the taking of radiographic data itself no more than 10 seconds, although taking into account the explanation that our staff will give you in the room itself and the clarification of any doubts that may arise, the placement of the venous line, the equipment preparation and other technical needs we can say that in total about 15 minutes. Time after which you can resume your normal life without any discomfort or special attention.
Sensation of pain
The only thing that can bother you is the placement of the venous line, more or less like when you take a blood sample for analysis. Otherwise, the contrast discomfort is temporary and lasts only a minute.
The data obtained (several hundred cuts) will have to be processed to create the images in 2 and 3 dimensions that the radiologists will have to study carefully in order to later issue the written report that will be delivered along with a CD, in which They include the different virtual recreations of their coronary arteries with the measures of interest and outlining those areas where the pathology is found. With this report, you should go to your doctor, who will assess the need to establish or not some type of treatment or corrective measure according to your particular circumstances.