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Coronary artery disease is the No. 1 killer of men and women in America
In the past, the recognized gold standard for detecting atherosclerotic plaque was the use of coronary angiography and intravascular ultrasound. Today, however, the American Heart Association considers CT scanning to be one of the most effective, non-invasive methods for the detection of calcification in the coronary arteries.
CT Angiography (CTA) uses x-rays to visualize blood flow in arterial vessels throughout the body – from arteries serving the brain to those bringing blood to the lungs, kidneys, arms and legs. Compared to catheter angiography, which involves injecting contrast material into an artery, CTA is much less invasive and more patient-friendly. It can be far more cost-effective than conventional coronary angiography.
CTA is commonly used to:
This detailed examination is performed by injecting a contrast medium (to enhance the display of the patient’s anatomical cavities and vessels) in a brachial vein. ECG electrodes are positioned on the patient’s chest in order to synchronize the scanner exactly to his/her heart rate. This makes it possible to acquire a complete 3D scan of the heart – a “virtual trip through the heart” – without a catheter. And this examination takes only 20 seconds. The precise results of this examination provide the doctor with information about the condition of the patient’s coronary vessels.
Afterwards, a powerful computer reconstructs a series of 3D, semi-transparent images that a physician can view from any angle. Once the images are reconstructed, our specially trained radiologist will interpret the test. Your personal physician will receive a detailed written report of the findings and any action recommended. You will also receive a CD-ROM containing all of your images for future reference.
Any individual with a family history of heart disease or an elevated calcified plaque score from a heart scan should consider CT Angiography. In addition, current or former smokers, post bypass patients and those who suffer from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, post obesity or diabetes should consider the procedure. Coronary artery disease is the No. 1 killer of men and women in America.