Loading icon
Press enter or spacebar to select a desired language.
Health Information Center

Computed Tomography Angiography

  • Amy Scholten, MPH
Publication Type:


Computed Tomography Angiography



Computed tomography angiography (CTA) is an x-ray of blood vessels. A material called contrast is used with the test. It will make the blood vessels easier to see.

CTA is most commonly used to study blood vessels of the:

  • Brain
  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Kidneys
  • Legs or arms
Blood Vessel in Brain.

Blood Flow Brainhttp://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=68466846blood_flow_brain.jpgBlood Flow BrainNULLjpgBlood Flow BrainNULL\\hgfiler01a\intellect\images\blood_flow_brain.jpgNULL114NULL2008-01-22400355Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Reasons for Test

This test may be done to:

  • Find blood vessels that are narrowed, enlarged, or blocked
  • Look for blood leaking from the blood vessels
Heart Attack.

Heart Attackhttp://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=24852485si1452.jpgHeart AttackNULLjpgHeart AttackNULL\\filer01\Intellect\images\si1452.jpgCopyright © 2002 Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.21NULL2002-10-012553912485_40321Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:

  • Allergic reactions to contrast material
  • Excess bleeding
  • Kidney damage

What to Expect

Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor if you have:

  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Swollen or itchy eyes
  • Problems breathing

If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.





  • Coronary artery disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/coronary-artery-disease-cad. Accessed August 31, 2021.
  • Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA). Radiology Info—Radiological Society of North America website. Available at: https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info/angiocoroct. Accessed August 31, 2021.
  • Ozkok S, Ozkok A. Contrast-induced acute kidney injury: A review of practical points. World J Nephrol. 2017;6(3):86-99.
  • Prevention of contrast induced complications. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/prevention/prevention-of-contrast-induced-complications. Accessed August 31, 2021.
  • What is computed tomography angiography? Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/computed-tomography-angiography-cta. Accessed August 31, 2021.


  • Nicole Meregian, PA
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.