What is the role of nitroglycerin in coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA)?

Updated: Dec 21, 2017
  • Author: Eugene C Lin, MD; Chief Editor: Eugene C Lin, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

The administration of sublingual nitroglycerin dilates the coronary arteries and increases side branch visualization. [5] Nitroglycerin is contraindicated in patients who are allergic to it and in patients who are taking phosphodiesterase inhibitors for erectile dysfunction. [6] Patients should not have taken a phosphodiesterase inhibitor for at least 48 hours before the exam.

Nitroglycerin can cause orthostatic hypotension; it should be used with caution in patients who have low systolic blood pressure (eg, < 90 mm Hg) and who are volume depleted from diuretic therapy. Angina caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can also be aggravated.


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