Cardiac Computerized Tomography (Cardiac CT)
Cardiac CT: A non-invasive alternative to traditional angiogram
University of Missouri Health Care features a state-of-the-art SIEMENS dual source 64-slice CT scanner. With the scanner's high speed cameras and multiple detectors, cardiologists can view high resolution pictures of the heart. This allows cardiologists to visualize the heart's blood vessels and detect with greater accuracy if blockages are present. This cutting-edge technology also minimizes radiation exposure to patients.
Men and women with one or more of the following risk factors are vulnerable for a heart attack:
- Abnormal cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Family history of premature heart disease
- Tobacco use
- Sedentary lifestyle
Many vulnerable patients have cholesterol build-up (plaque) in their arteries. Conventional stress testing, such as nuclear imaging or echo, only detect severe artery blockage (generally blockage that is greater than 70 percent). Patients with less than 70 percent blockage usually will have a normal stress test. Therefore, patients who have chest pain with a normal or questionable stress test may benefit from a cardiac CT study.
|Traditional Angiogram (Cardiac Catheterization)
|| Cardiac CT
|Visualizes the heart in 2D
||Visualizes the heart and valves in both 3D and 4D, and can also identify previously unknown heart defects that patients may have had from birth
|Only visualizes the lumen of the blood vessels
||Visualizes both the wall and lumen of the blood vessels
|Usually takes all day
||Usually takes less than one hour
|Invasive procedure where contrast dye is injected directly into the heart, using a long tube inserted through the groin
||Contrast dye injected with a short, small needle in an arm vein
|Complications can be serious and includes internal bleeding
||Complications are rare and relatively minor compared to a regular CT scan
To schedule a patient for a cardiac CT, please contact the CT lab at (573) 882-1518.