CT, or computed tomography, is a highly accurate diagnostic tool that physicians use to isolate the location of a tumor, infection or blood clot and to detect internal injuries and bleeding. CT scans can also detect and help medical providers monitor diseases and conditions, including lung nodules, liver masses, cancer and heart disease.
The procedure is painless, requires no hospitalization, and produces highly detailed images valuable for developing your treatment plan. A CT scan generally takes less time to complete than an MRI.
FOR ARTERIAL PLAQUE
A CT angiogram is a valuable test for detecting plaque buildup in your arteries. It requires injecting a contrast dye into your vein, which helps the CT scanner visualize blood flow throughout your body.
CT Cardiac Calcium Score is a simple exam that identifies the presence or absence of calcium in your coronary arteries without using contrast.
Calcium build up in the coronary arteries is the earliest indicator of heart disease.
A score is calculated based on the amount of plaque observed in the CT scan. It may be converted to a percentile rank based on your age and gender. The results from your cardiac scoring will be sent to your doctor.
A CT angiogram is less invasive than a catheter angiography, which requires placing a catheter through a small incision in your skin to inject the contrast dye.
About Your Visit
WHAT TO EXPECT
Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. This will give you time to fill out any necessary forms and change into scrubs if needed.
For the scan, you will lie down on a CT table. The table moves through the CT scanner while obtaining images. Depending on your healthcare provider’s request, you may receive a “contrast” liquid by mouth and/or IV. This contrast helps provide greater visibility in your images. Once started, the procedure can take from five to 15 minutes.
CT scans combine a series of X-ray views taken from many different angles, which a computer then uses to create 3D, cross-sectional images of the bones and soft tissues needing examination. Although CT does use radiation to produce these images, we utilize “low-dose” technology, which decreases your radiation exposure compared to standard X-ray technology.
Prep & Safety
HOW TO PREPARE
Unless we tell you otherwise, do not eat or drink anything other than water during the three hours prior to your appointment. One of our staff members will contact you a day before your exam to discuss the details.
Please notify our scheduling department and technologists if:
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- You have severe allergies, or if you have ever had an allergic reaction to X-ray dye or iodine.
- You have any medical conditions such as asthma or diabetes.
- You have a history of renal failure, or a liver or kidney transplant.