CT - Computed Tomography - Lower Limb

CT Lower Limb Angiography (CTA)

While conventional catheter angiography has been available for many years for diagnosing and characterising peripheral arterial disease, the recent introduction of multi slice CT scanning at St George's Radiology allows CT angiography to be performed following the injection of contrast into an arm vein.

Indications for investigation include:

  • Intermittent claudication (calf, thigh or buttock).
  • Rest pain in lower limbs.
  • • Arterial ulceration (ankles or feet).

Angiography techniques have improved but catheterisation of the abdominal aorta is still required, usually via one of the femoral arteries.

The CT procedure required to see arteries from the mid abdomen to the ankles takes approximately 40 seconds. Patients spend only 10 minutes on the CT scanner. Post processing of data is then performed on a work station.

Although data is acquired in the axial plane as with standard CT, the final images look similar to conventional arteriograms.

Only patients requiring angioplasty or stenting need to proceed to standard arteriography.

Advantages of the new technique include:

  • Non invasive
  • Outpatient procedure
  • No need to stop anticoagulation prior to the examination
  • No bed rest necessary after the scan
  • Much faster

• Reduced cost compared with conventional angiography)

 These scans can be arranged following referral to a vascular surgeon.

Dr Tony Young, Radiologist