A cardiac CT, or CT Coronary Angiogram, is a specialised non-invasive procedure which uses a mixture of x-ray technology, computer systems and a contrast medium to produce detailed three dimensional images of the heart, arteries and blood vessels.
Cardiac CTs are used specifically to examine the heart.
Cardiac CTs are typically used to detect and aid in the diagnosis of coronary heart disease.
A cardiac CT is a non-invasive procedure, which makes it ideal for checking whether a patient with low risk heart-related issues or symptoms has a coronary artery disease. Doctors also use cardiac CTs to check for blockages and damage to the coronary arteries.
Doctors may also require patients to get a cardiac CT scan before or after other coronary procedures.
Coronary artery disease is a serious illness, which if left untreated can lead to the development of other serious conditions including:
Preparation for CT Cardiac
You will usually be asked to have a blood test to check your kidney function before the test, and definitely if you are diabetic.
You may be instructed to fast after breakfast and avoid any caffeine for up to 24 hours before your procedure.
Your doctor may ask you to bring any previous scans or x-rays to the procedure, along with any medications you’re currently taking.
You will be asked to remove any metallic items, such as jewellery, watches, eyewear and belts, as these items can show up on the CT scans. You will be asked to remove any clothing obstructing the area to be scanned and given a medical gown to wear instead, so you should try and wear something that is comfortable and easy to remove.
The pre-requisites of the CT Cardiac take a long time in processes such as stabilizing heart rate and doing the initial heart scans otherwise the actual process doesn’t take more than 10 to 15 minutes.
After arrival at the Radiology Department, you will be placed on a trolley to have your heart rate (HR) measured. If it is too high to perform the test, you will be given medications to lower your HR, and it will be rechecked after 1/2 – 1 hour. Once your HR is at a good level, a nurse, doctor or radiographer will put a cannula in your arm, usually in the inside of the elbow. You will be taken to the CT Scan room and asked to lay on the CT bed. The radiographers will connect you to the CT Scan ECG and explain the next part of the test to you. You will be asked to hold your breath during all of the scans – this is very important. A couple of preliminary scans will be done and then the radiographer will start the injection of contrast, and the CT Coronary scan will start shortly after that.
You may experience the following sensations as the contrast agent moves through the body:
Post cardiac CT instructions
You may be asked to stay in the hospital for up to an hour after the cardiac CT, to ensure that there are no side effects or reactions to the contrast medium or the medications given to lower your HR.
After the procedure you will be able to return to normal activity the next day. The results of the scan will be sent to your doctor, who will discuss them with you during your next appointment.
You should bring someone to drive you home after the procedure.
At Harris park Radiology, we pride ourselves on our ability to deliver first class services within the health system using Bulk billing methodology. This means that your consultation and procedure will be bulk billed if you have your Medicare card and a practitioner’s referral with you, and you will have no out of pocket expenses.
If you have a referral to another imaging practice or organization, we can assist you as we can accept all referrals and if you are still in doubt, please seek advice from your referring medical professional.
We are local and a family-owned medical clinics that offers the highest quality medical and Imaging Services in the Crystal radiology region. We are the leaders in Bulk Billing with the real benefit of no ‘Out of Pocket’ expenses for you.
Please ensure that you have your Medicare card and referral with you and pop into our location for your consultation. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact us at (02) 8315 8292 as we are here to help.