This is regularly performed to assess the lungs and their blood supplying tubes from the heart. This is referred to as Pulmonary Angiography or CT Angiography.
The advantage of CT Angiography is that it is not operator dependent as compared to Echocardiography. The test evaluates structures outside the heart e.g. Pulmonary Arteries better than echocardiography.
The amount of contrast given in CTA is much less as compared to in Diagnostic Angiography. Additionally, it is a non-invasive test as compared to a diagnostic angiography.
As compared to an MRI it is a much faster test taking few minutes only.
CTA can be used as the first line of evaluation in certain conditions like Vascular Ring, Evaluation of Aorto-Pulmonary Collaterals, in conditions where MRI is contraindicated e.g. pacemaker implantation.
Radiation exposure is an issue discussed at length in relation to CTA. The radiation exposure with a chest X-ray is 0.02 mSV. The same radiation exposure with CTA is 0.2 to 0.7 mSV.
CT and CT angiography are vital for the diagnosis of congenital heart disease (CHD). A CT can give an accurate image of the cardiovascular system before and after the treatments for various conditions. It can also be used to assess the pulmonary arterial structure, venous structure and the extra cardiac systemic structures. The radiologist should have a wide knowledge of cardiovascular physiology, anatomy and surgical techniques to analyse the result.
The technological advancements in recent years have expanded the role of CMR/Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance in the diagnosis and managements of acquired as well as congenital heart diseases in children. The current advancements in various aspects of CMR have enabled the cardiologists and heart surgeons to understand and learn more about the advantages and limitations of CMR. The advanced CMR technique gives a finely detailed anatomy along with physiological data that enables the test to provide an outlook about managing the CHD condition in the patient.