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Good sources for learning how to interpret CTAs

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AutumnLeaves has 35 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in acute care.

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I  have recently changed jobs and am trying to learn how to interpret vascular CTAs, as in abdomen,pelvic,neck and head. I actually have found several sites on YouTube but still feel overwhelmed, so  if anyone has a good one, I would appreciate it.

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PMHNP Man has 7 years experience as a MSN, APRN, NP and specializes in Psychiatry.

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I don't even know what a CTA is...

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8 minutes ago, PMHNP Man said:

I don't even know what a CTA is...

Computed Tomography Angiography 

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juan de la cruz has 27 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care.

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That's quite a broad scope of organ systems you're trying to learn. As part of the Critical Care team, I depend on our Vascular Neurology colleagues to help me with head and neck CTA's - they are the experts when it comes to those. Cardiac-thoracic-abdominal-and pelvic CTA's are easier to read (in my experience) because the organs are large and the vessels are easier to identify. Are you in a role or specialty where you have to know head all the way down to the pelvis? How about just going down to Radiology and having a Radiologist help you?

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AutumnLeaves has 35 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in acute care.

212 Visitors; 9 Posts

We do vascular surgery. I can read the organs already, but not always sure of some of the vessels. My doc wants me to read the necks/ cardiac/abdomen and pelvis scans and be able to give an opinion. He never depends on the radiology read. I am just trying to figure out a good way to learn. I suspect it will just take more experience.

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I suspect it would take, like, a residency in radiology to become an expert at reading CTAs. 

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PMHNP Man has 7 years experience as a MSN, APRN, NP and specializes in Psychiatry.

331 Visitors; 68 Posts

1 hour ago, TuxnadoDO said:

I suspect it would take, like, a residency in radiology to become an expert at reading CTAs. 

Would seem that way based on the description.

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AutumnLeaves has 35 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in acute care.

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I agree. I think he is asking a lot of me.

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Neuro Guy NP has 7 years experience as a DNP, PhD, APRN and specializes in Vascular Neurology and Neurocritical Care.

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It's possible. The more exposure you get, the more experienced you'll become. Every single patient, be sure to look at their scan and get to identify the pathology the radiologist identified. Often, they'll state the image and series number where the problem is located. Continue doing this, and you'll become more familiar. Familiarize yourself with common conditions you treat in your specialty and head to radiopaedia.org and compare example scans of the same issues. There are also radiology textbooks you can look at

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15 hours ago, Neuro Guy NP said:

It's possible. The more exposure you get, the more experienced you'll become. Every single patient, be sure to look at their scan and get to identify the pathology the radiologist identified. Often, they'll state the image and series number where the problem is located. Continue doing this, and you'll become more familiar. Familiarize yourself with common conditions you treat in your specialty and head to radiopaedia.org and compare example scans of the same issues. There are also radiology textbooks you can look at

This is great advice for someone who wants to be be able to look at the scans and have an idea of what he or she sees prior to the radiologist's report. I wouldn't recommend that the OP relies on her own read to ultimately make patient care decisions, however. 

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