CT angiography of the chest (protocol)

Last revised by Andrew Murphy on 23 Mar 2023

CT angiography of the chest (CTA chest) is a cross-sectional diagnostic examination that can be performed ECG-gated or non-ECG gated.  

NB: This article is intended to outline some general principles of protocol design. The specifics will vary depending on CT hardware and software, radiologists' and referrers' preferences, institutional protocols, patient factors (e.g. allergy) and time constraints. 

CTA of the chest in a wide variety of clinical scenarios including:

  • patient position
    • supine with their arms above their head
  • scout
    • above apices to below the renal arteries 
  • scan extent
    • above apices to below the renal arteries 
  • scan direction
    • caudocranial
  • contrast injection considerations
  • scan delay
    • minimal scan delay 
  • respiration phase
    • inspiration
  • this scan is performed ECG-gated, will mitigate cardiac motion
  • the utilization of monitoring series is highly recommended due to the differences in cardiac output between patients 1
  • when performing image reconstitutions, oblique-sagittal reconstructions of the aortic will display the entire vessel in one image 

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