ct angiogram for pulmonary embolismWhen we feel something is wrong with our body, we automatically check to find out where and what the problem might be. When the issue is visible, we can pinpoint the problem but when it is inside our body, it might take more than our eyes to be able to determine where the problem lies. Diagnosing a certain condition can be a challenge as you can’t do it based only on the symptoms you feel and see outside. 

Thankfully, the advancement in our technology today allows us to check the inside of human anatomy without cutting the body. A good example is a CT Angiogram or CT Angiography done at The Radiology Clinic located in Rockville, MD. CT Angiogram or computed tomography angiogram is a test that uses X-rays in order to provide a detailed picture of blood vessels throughout the body, including the aorta, lungs, liver, kidneys, and heart. CT angiograms can demonstrate narrowed or blocked areas of a blood vessel such as an artery or vein. 

CT angiograms are also designed to examine if there are bulges in your blood vessels called aneurysms and can also evaluate for the buildup of fatty materials in your blood vessels called atherosclerosis that can cause serious and life-threatening medical conditions. CT angiograms can be used for other reasons, including to check for pulmonary embolisms or blood clots in the lungs. Pulmonary embolism occurs when there is a blockage involving one of your pulmonary arteries found in your lungs. 

Blood clots don’t originally form in your lungs. A blood clot, or thrombus, usually forms in a vein deep in your legs (or less likely your arm) before it breaks off. When it breaks off, it travels through the heart and into your lungs where it becomes trapped. This condition is life-threatening because this blood clot will block blood supply into certain portions of your lungs. When you have a pulmonary embolism, you usually experience shortness of breath and chest pain. However, this condition is primarily confirmed through CT Angiogram.

During a CT angiogram test, you will be asked to lie on a table, and a special contrast dye will be put in a vein in your arm. This makes the blood vessels easier to see. 

Most people prefer CT angiogram compared to a standard angiogram test because it is less invasive. While the latter may require the use of an IV, CT angiogram is less invasive and safer than conventional angiography.  If your doctor is concerned about a blood clot in your lung called a pulmonary embolism, The Radiology Clinic is happy to perform same-day STAT imaging. However, if your symptoms are severe or if it is after hours, please go to the Emergency Department and DO NOT delay care.  Please contact the friendly, caring staff at The Radiology Clinic at 301-217-0500 for further information and for scheduling appointments.