Procedures Tests Computed Axial Tomography (CAT or CT) / Ultrafact Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
What is the procedure?
For a CT scan, the patient changes into a hospital gown, and an intravenous line is started so that contrast dye may be injected for enhanced visualization. Sticky patches called electrodes, each with a wire, are attached to the skin of the chest. Each wire is connected to an ECG machine to monitor the heart's electrical activity throughout the procedure. The patient lies down (with the arms above the head) on a moveable table that slides into the CT machine. An x-ray tube (called the x-ray sensing unit) rotates within the CT machine and around the body of the patient. The table itself slowly moves the patient forward as images continue to be taken. Then a computer analyzes and combines these x-rays to create three-dimensional images with precise detail.
An Ultrafast CT provides images of the beating heart, and reveals calcium deposits in the heart (coronary) arteries. The calcium deposits are actually measured during an Ultrafast CT, and reported as a Coronary Artery Calcium (CAC) score. The physician uses this score to determine the amount of plaque (Atherosclerosis) present within the coronary arteries, and to predict the patient's risk of future coronary artery disease and/or heart attack.
How long does this procedure take?