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What is cardiac computed tomography (CT)?

A cardiac computed tomography (CT) scan combines x-rays of thin cross-sections of your heart to create a 3-D image. You lie on a table that slowly moves you through a CT machine, and a rotating x-ray tube takes cross-section images. With some CT scans, a contrast dye is injected to help highlight the blood vessels.

The benefit of a cardiac CT scan is that it provides very detailed images to help detect problems with the heart and arteries. The risk of a contrast reaction or the radiation risk from a single CT scan is very low. Please talk with your doctor if you have specific concerns.

Dr. Steven C. Port, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Angiography is a technique for obtaining images of blood vessels and heart structures using an injection of contrast (dye) in the bloodstream. Ultra-fast CT scanners are available that capture images of the heart, the coronary arteries and all the blood vessels of the body. As a result, CT angiography is becoming increasingly popular for the diagnosis of heart problems.

For specific individuals, CT angiography of the heart arteries may make heart catheterization unnecessary while, for others, CT angiography may indicate that a heart catheterization is necessary. Locating and determining the size of aneurysms are important functions of CT angiography.

A cardiac computerized tomography (CT) scan makes three-dimensional pictures of the heart.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.