What is a Thoracic Aorta scan?

What is CT Calcium Scoring

The Thoracic Aorta scan uses CT technology to detect problems with blood flow through your aorta. While the aorta is scanned with CT, an Electrocardiogram (ECG) trace is recorded. This information is correlated with the CT data to provide highly detailed diagnostic information.

Thoracic Aorta scan

What happens during a Thoracic Aorta scan?

A. Before your Thoracic Aorta scan

Preparation – On the day of the scan

You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding your health status, medication, and any known allergies. If there is any chance you may be pregnant, please inform us before your scan. You may also be asked to change into a gown and remove some jewellery for your scan.

Medication to reduce blood flow and slow down the heart rate might also be given to make the images even clearer and easier to interpret. This will either be given in tablet form or via a cannula (a thin plastic tube) inserted into your arm. When the ideal heart rate is reached you will be taken into the CT room.

B. During your Thoracic Aorta scan


When you are transferred to the CT room you will be made comfortable on the examination table and connected to an ECG monitor for the duration of the examination. The examination table slides you into the centre of the CT machine and some preliminary pictures are taken to confirm the scan position.

X-ray dye (contrast) will be injected into a vein via a cannula (a thin plastic tube, like a flexible needle) in your arm. The scan is then performed while the dye is passing through your blood vessels. You may feel flushed during this injection.

The scan will take approximately 15 minutes.

Risks and side effects

A Thoracic Aorta scan is a very low-risk procedure. Find out about CT Risks and Side Effects.

Who will perform my scan?

At Envision Medical imaging your Thoracic Aorta scan will be carried out by a radiographer (medical imaging technologist), who has a degree in medical imaging and is accredited by the Australian Institute of Radiography.  We have a team of Radiologists (a medical doctor specialising in the interpretation of medical images) as well as Cardiologist who will prepare and send a report to your referring doctor detailing the findings of your Thoracic Aorta scan.

Thoracic Aorta scan

What happens after a Thoracic Aorta scan?

How do I get my results?

After your appointment, the information from your scan is processed and interpreted by Envision’s medical imaging team before delivery of a report to your doctor.

Post procedural information

At the end of the procedure the cannula will be withdrawn carefully from the vein and a band aid applied.  The dye will be flushed naturally by your body over the following 24 hours without you noticing it. You are free to eat and drink normally.  We recommend you continue to drink plenty of fluids to assist your body in flushing the contrast. You will be able to return to your normal daily activities after your scan.

Thoracic Aorta scan

Download an Information and Consent Form