Cardiac computed tomography (CT or CAT scan) is a painless test that uses X-rays and computer technology to show detailed images of your heart.

Why is Your Doctor Ordering Cardiac CT?

Cardiac CT creates very clear, detailed pictures of your heart and blood vessels to help your doctor look for problems with the blood vessels, heart valves and structure of the heart, including:

  • Coronary heart disease, a buildup of plaque in the arteries
  • Problems with the aorta, the main artery that carries blood from the heart to the body
  • Problems with the pulmonary veins that carry blood from the lungs to the heart

What to Expect

During a cardiac CT scan, an X-ray machine moves around your body in a circle, taking pictures of each part of your heart. A computer puts the pictures together to create a three-dimensional (3D) image of your entire heart. The test may be performed with or without contrast, an iodine-based dye that is administered with an intravenous (IV) injection.

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