Cardiac CT imaging
Cardiac CT is a non-invasive imaging test that uses X ray technology to visualise the anatomy, coronary circulation and great vessels of the heart.
Calcium-scoring is used to detect the presence and amount of calcium deposits or plaque accumulation in the coronary arteries. The amount of coronary calcium is recognised as an independent predictor of future cardiac events and may be used to guide lifestyle modifications and preventative medical therapies to reduce this risk.
CT angiography is a technique to obtain high-resolution 3-dimensional pictures of the moving heart and enables detection of narrowing (or stenosis) within the coronary arteries. Significant narrowings are important to detect as they may require further treatment. To optimise image quality, patients are usually asked to take a heart rate slowing medication the morning before and morning of the test and additional medication may be given on the day of the CT if heart rate remains high. Since X-ray contrast (dye) will be given, patients should have kidney function checked in advance by their GP and they should inform CT staff if they have had a previous allergic reaction to contrast or to fish.