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Specialized Scans:
CTA (Computerized Tomography Angiography)

CTA is an examination that uses x-rays to visualize blood flow in arterial vessels throughout the body; from arteries serving the brain to those bringing blood to the lungs, kidneys, and arms and legs. CT combines the use of x-rays with computerized analysis of the images. Beams of x-rays are passed from a rotating device through the area of interest in the patient's body from several different angles so as to create cross-sectional images, which then are assembled by computer into a three-dimensional picture of the area being studied. Compared to catheter angiography, which involves placing a catheter and injecting contrast material into an artery, CTA is a much less invasive and more patient-friendly procedure—contrast material is injected into a peripheral vein rather than an artery. This exam has been used to screen large numbers of individuals for arterial disease. Most patients have CT angiography without being admitted to a hospital.

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