COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update Learn More

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

CTA Coronary Artery Study

Purpose of the Test

A CTA Coronary Artery Study is a non-invasive test. It is used to diagnose coronary artery disease (CAD), evaluate left ventricular function and determine the best treatment for people who have CAD.

Patient Instructions


  • Do not eat solid food for 1 hour before the test.
  • Please drink 4 to 6 glasses (8-oz. each) of water the day before your test.


  • May take all regularly scheduled meds EXCEPT Actoplus Met, Avandamet, Fortamet, Glucophage, Glucophage XR, Glucovance, Glumetza, Janumet, Metaglip, Metformin, Riomet, Prandimet and Kombiglyze. Medicines for diabetes given by mouth will need to be held until 48 hours after the test.
  • If you use Viagra, Levitra or Cialis, DO NOT use them for 48 hours before your Coronary CTA scan.
  • Bring a list of your medicines with you.
  • Tell your doctor if you have an allergy to IV contrast.


  • Plan to remove your shirt and wear a hospital gown.


  • Do not smoke the morning of the test.

Length of Test

  • Plan for at least 1½ hours.

The Test

  • We will insert an intravenous (IV) line into your arm or hand. We will use this line to give you any medicines and the contrast needed for your test.
  • We may check your blood pressure before, during and after the test.
  • We will need a slow and steady heart rate to best see the structures of your heart. If needed, a nurse will give you an oral medicine that will lower your heart rate.
  • Once your heart rate is at the right level, often one hour later, your CT scan will begin.
  • We will place electrodes on your chest. We may have to shave some hair from the chests of male patients. Doing so ensures the electrodes make good contact with the chest to accurately monitor your heart’s rhythm.
  • During the CT exam, we closely monitor your heart rate and heart rhythm (ECG).
  • We will take two sets of pictures – one without contrast and one while contrast is being injected. The contrast will make you feel warm and may give you a metal-like taste in your mouth. This feeling will last 20 to 30 seconds.
  • The test will take about 30 minutes.
  • Once the technologist is sure that all the information is gathered, you will go back to your room.
  • After the test, you may eat as instructed by your doctor or your care plan.

If you have any questions, please call CentraCare Heart & Vascular Center at 320-656-7020 or 800-448-3455.