A nurse or technologist may ask you to remove your clothes above the waist and wear a hospital gown. You may be asked to remove metal objects such as jewelry, which can affect the CT images.
You will be asked to lie on your back on the scanner bed table. While you may lie on this table for approximately 10 - 30 minutes, most of this time will involve preparation. The actual images only take a few seconds to obtain.
An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted into a vein in your arm. Nitroglycerin may also be given as a tablet or a spray underneath your tongue, to widen the coronary arteries and improve the pictures. This may cause a temporary slight headache.
The technologist or nurse will apply sticky patches called electrodes on your chest.
This will be used to monitor your heartbeat during the exam.
You will be asked to lie still and will receive instructions to hold your breath for short
periods of time (less than 15 seconds) while pictures are taken. It is very important to be
absolutely still and to not breathe, move or swallow while the pictures are being taken.
During some steps of the test, contrast dye will be injected through the IV. This may cause a warm feeling all over your body, which usually disappears within a minute or so.
Provided by the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT). For more information click here.