Liver CT-Angiogram

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Liver CT-Angiogram

  1. 1. INFORMATION FOR PATIENTSLiver CT-AngiogramHere are answers to commonly asked questions about a Liver CT-Angiogram.Ask your doctor if you have additional questions or concerns.What is a Liver CT-Angiogram?You may be asked to have this test if the doctor suspects you have a liver cancer.The normal liver cell receives the majority of its blood supply from the portal vein,and a liver tumour receives the majority of its blood supply from the hepatic artery.This difference in blood supply is the basis for the CT-angiogram.A CT-angiogram is a two-step procedure. First, catheters are placed through thefemoral artery in the groin up to the major vessels supplying blood to the liver.X-ray pictures are taken while contrast dye is injected into these catheters.This is called an angiogram. Once that part of the study has been performed, youwill be taken to another room where the CT scanner is located. Contrast dye is onceagain injected through the catheters in the groin, while a CT scan is performed.By directly injecting contrast dye into the hepatic artery, any tumour tissue that ispresent will be emphasised and the remaining liver tissue will appear darker.This test is more accurate than a standard CT scan for confirming the diagnosis,and defining the number of individual tumours present and their precise location.Unlike CT scans, most CT angiograms are done in a hospital setting. Localanaesthetic is administered before catheters are inserted into the blood vesselin the groin. You may also be given some sedating medication to keep youcomfortable during the procedure.If you have abnormal blood clotting, you may require transfusion of platelets or freshfrozen plasma to reduce the chance of bleeding from the catheter insertion site.How long will it take?Typically the test takes 2 - 3 hours to perform and you must stay in the hospitalfor 4 - 6 hours to be observed for potential complications. You should arrangefor a friend or relative to take you home after the procedure.You should not drive yourself. When you get home you should reduce physicalactivity for the next 24 hours – this will help reduce the risk of bleeding andbruising at the site where the catheter was inserted. Sometimes, patients areasked to stay in the hospital for overnight observation.Some people develop an allergic reaction to the contrast injection. If you are awarethat you have had an allergic response to contrast dye in the past, or if you areallergic to iodine, you must discuss this with your doctor. Other specific risks of theprocedure will be discussed with you.© Copyright. Digestive Health Foundation 2006. This fact sheet is promoted as a public serviceby the Digestive Health Foundation. C/O – GESA, 145 Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000T: (02) 9256 5454 F: (02) 9241 4586 E-mail: dhf@gesa.org.au Website: www.gesa.org.au

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