About the Test
Most people with heart disease don’t know they have heart disease until they have a cardiac event – The first symptom may be aheart attack. With our 64 slice CT scanner, we can now provide this new non-invasive study for evaluation of coronary arteries. This exam can help detect coronary arteriosclerosis (plaque in the arteries of the heart) before it has a chance to do irreversible harm. By detecting calcium deposits in the artery walls, the Siemens Sensation 64-Slice High Definition Heart Scan can detect the presence of blockages in your coronary arteries that may not yet be severe enough to show up on other tests. Coronary CTA is the most sensitive non-invasive method currently available to accurately identify the presence of early coronary artery disease. The information obtained from the study can help your physician manage your care to prevent further damage should the test result in a positive finding. You may prevent an unplanned event. We encourage you to discuss the benefits of this test with your physician.
A CCTA is a minimally invasive, low radiation CT scan of the beating heart that provides images and information about the coronary arteries, heart muscle, and heart valves. The coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscle and it is plaque build up in these vessels that is responsible for most heart attacks. Hence early detection and treatment with medications and/or stenting is important. The benefit of a CCTA is its ability to demonstrate the extent, type (hard vs. soft) and distribution of plaque (atherosclerosis) within the coronary arteries.
What is a CT Calcium Score?
By detecting calcium deposits in the artery walls, the CT scanner can detect the presence of blockages and plaque in your heart arteries that may not yet be severe enough to show up on other tests (eg. a stress test). A calcium score is generated from a low radiation dose, non contrast, ECG gated CT scan of your heart. This score is then used in combination with other Cardiovascular risk factors (eg. high blood pressure and cholesterol levels), to help determine what further cardiac tests and or treatments are necessary.
Our physicians meet the guidelines set by the ACR (American College of Radiology) and the ACC (American College of Cardiology) for the performance of Coronary CTA. Our staff of technologists have also been specialty trained to assist in these exams.
Who should have a Coronary CTA:
- Intermediate to high-risk profiles for coronary artery disease, but who do not have typical symptoms (especially chest pain, shortness of breath, or fatigue during heavy physical activity.
- Unusual symptoms for coronary artery disease (such as chest pain unrelated to physical exertion), but low to intermediate risk profiles for coronary artery disease.
- Unclear or inconclusive stress-test (treadmill test) results.
- For these types of patients, coronary CTA can provide important insights to their primary physician into the extent and nature of plaque formation with or without any narrowing of the coronary arteries. Coronary CTA also can non-invasively exclude narrowing of the arteries as the cause of chest discomfort and detect other possible causes of symptoms.
*Some insurance(s) may not cover this test. However, given the important life-changing information this can provide, you may still want to have this test.
*Physician referral is required for this test.