Computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA)

Computed tomography pulmonary angiography

CTPA means Computed Tomography Pulmonary Angiography.

  • This means the CT scan looks more closely at the arteries of the lungs.
  • It is most commonly used to look for blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary emboli).
  • Contrast material is injected quickly into a vein.

Timing is essential and the radiographer will use instructions to indicate when to breathe in, breath out or hold breath.
Intravenous contrast is used to highlight the pulmonary vessels, and to determine the presence of a clot in the lung. If the patient lies very still, and the chest is stationary (breath hold) this optimises the quality of the scan.