A cardiac CT scan can help your doctor detect:
Your doctor might recommend that you have a cardiac CT scan before or after other heart procedures. The scan helps pinpoint areas of your heart or blood vessels where the procedure should be done. The scan also helps check your heart after a procedure.
Talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
You wear small patches (electrodes) on your chest. The electrodes are attached to an electrocardiogram (EKG) monitor. This measures your heart’s electrical activity during the test. You may have a dye injected through an intravenous line in your arm. This iodine-based dye (contrast dye) highlights your coronary arteries on the x-ray images. Your doctor may give you medicine to slow your heart rate. This produces better quality images.
During the scan, you lie still with your back on on a table. The CT scanner is a large machine with a hollow tube in the middle. The table moves inside the tube. The x-ray machine moves around your body in a circle. The machine takes a picture of each part of your heart. A computer puts these images together to make a three-dimensional picture of your whole heart.
A cardiac CT scan usually takes about 15 minutes to complete. It may take an hour or longer to prepare for the test and for the medicine to slow your heart rate.
The test is painless. It involves a small amount of radiation. After the scan is done, you may return to your normal activities.
Your doctor will contact you with the test results as soon as they are available.
Find a physician online or call 215-345-2121 (Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.) to speak with a referral counselor.
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