A Coronary CT (Computerized Tomography) is an imaging test that is used by Dr. Diego to evaluate the arteries that supply the heart with blood.

This diagnostic tool uses an x-ray machine to reveal images of the blood vessels. With this technology, Dr. Diego can see if some of the arteries are narrowed or blocked, a condition that could be causing chest pain and is a risk factor for heart attack.

In a regular coronary angiogram, a catheter is inserted into an artery in the groin, and then the catheter is threaded through the blood vessels to the heart. A special dye is injected through the catheter and x-ray images are taken of the heart. This reveals blockages in the arteries, and allows the doctor to perform an angioplasty to open the blocked blood vessels.

In a coronary CT angiogram, an iodine-based contrast dye is injected into a vein, which then shows up on the x-ray.

The Coronary CT Is Used To Detect Any Or All Of The Following:

  • Coronary Heart Disease (Plaque Build-Up in the Arteries)
  • Calcium Build-Up in the Walls of the Arteries (Which can be a Risk Factor for Coronary Artery Disease)
  • Aneurysm (Bulge) in the Blood Vessel
  • Pulmonary Embolism (Blockage in an Artery in the Lung)
  • Problems in the Pulmonary Veins (Which Carry Blood from the Lungs to the Heart)
  • Problems with Heart Valves
  • Blockages in the Aorta, the Main Artery that Carries Oxygenated Blood from the Heart to the Body
  • Pericardial Disease (The Pericardium is the Sac that Surrounds the Heart)

The patient is asked not to eat on the day of the test. If the patient takes medication, he or she should talk with the doctor beforehand to discuss the dosage. Also, the patient should tell the doctor if he or she is allergic to any medications, iodine or shellfish– which may increase the chances of having an allergic reaction to the contrast dye. Because cardiac CT administers a small dose of radiation, pregnant women should not take this test. If the patient does not have asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), he or she may be given medicine to slow the heart rate, as the slower heartbeat may yield a higher quality picture.