Heart CT Scan

Computed tomography (CT) is a test that combines x-ray and computer scans. The result is a detailed picture that can show problems with the arteries of the heart and how it functions.

Preparation

  • Clear liquids only 4 hours prior to appointment.
  • NO caffeine, coffee or tea (including decaffeinated), energy drinks, chocolate or smoking 24 hours prior to the exam.
  • ED (Erectile Dysfunction) drugs are not to be taken 72 hours prior to test.
  • Please arrive one hour prior to your appointment.
    • For Wyandotte patients only: Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your appointment.
  • Bring a prescription if your doctor has given one to you.
  • Please bring a list of your current medications.
  • Patients 55 years or older/Patients with a history of diabetes or renal disease: Requires additional blood work including BUN and creatinine within 3 months of procedure.

Procedure

  • Our ability to perform this study, and the quality of the study depend on a slow, steady heart rate.  Your doctor may choose to give you some medicine to take the night before and the morning of your test to slow your heart. 
  • When you arrive, we will monitor your heart rate and blood pressure, and you may be given additional medicine to further slow your rate to a level where the heart scan can be accurately performed. This preparation usually takes about an hour but may last longer. 
  • Immediately prior to the CT scan, you will be given additional medicine to increase the blood flow to your heart. You will be given some medication to take 1 hour before the exam to slow the heart rate down. Additional medication may be given through the IV line if needed.
  • You will lie on a table. 
  • ECG Leads will be placed on your chest. The table slides into the CT scanner.
  • You will be given contrast through an intravenous (IV) line.
  • You may feel warm or flushed during the injection of the IV contrast.
  • The technologist will ask you to hold your breath for 15 seconds during your scan.
  • The entire procedure could take up to 4 hours. The CT scan is dependent on a low heart rate.
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