These exams use contrast and 3 dimensional imaging to evaluate the vascular system. In the case of CT scanning, radiation is used. In the case of MRI, the imaging is based on magnetism. CT scanning is generally better for vascular imaging. Both require an IV and contrast administration through the IV which will enable us to see the arterial system well. These exams are done at various locations depending on insurance and your convenience. They both require a simple lab test to check kidney function because the dye can be harmful if there is significant kidney dysfunction. Patients should hydrate well both before and after the procedure. Patient's should also inform us if they are on metformin which may need to be held before and after the procedure.
These tests are generally necessary for patients with carotid disease and aneurysm disease prior to treatment. They are seldom needed for patients with venous disease or peripheral arterial disease.