Cardiac Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

What is a computed tomography (CT) scan?

A cardiac CT scan is a test that uses X-rays and computers to create real-looking, 3-D images of the heart and its blood vessels. A dye is usually injected into your vein to help see the different parts of the heart such as the chambers and the coronary arteries.

What will happen when I get my CT scan?

You will get an intravenous (IV) line put into a large vein in your arm. This line will be used to give you a dye (contrast dye) to help the procedure. Your blood pressure and heart rate are taken to see if you need medicine to lower your heart rate. The medicine will likely be a beta blocker. A technologist will place three electrodes on your chest to measure and record your heartbeat during the test. When the images are acquired, you will be asked to be still and hold your breath for 15 seconds. During the scan, the table will move through what looks like a large donut or ring. This is the part of the machine that scans your body takes the image. Once the technologist collects all the images, your IV will be removed. The scan will take about 15 minutes to finish.

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