CT scans (also known as CAT scans) are non-invasive medical tests that help physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. CT uses a narrow X-Ray beam that circles around one part of your body. This provides a series of images from many different angles. A computer uses this information to create a cross-sectional picture. It shows more detail than a regular X-Ray.
If you are receiving oral contrast prior to your exam, you may not eat or drink anything 4 hours prior to your exam time.
WHAT TO EXPECT
In a CT scan, dense substances like bones are easy to see. But soft tissues don’t show up as well and may look faint in the image. To help them appear more clearly, your doctor or the radiologist may order a special dye called contrast. This helps to highlight blood vessels, organs, or other abnormalities. Contrast materials are usually made of iodine or barium sulfate. You might receive these contrast agents orally and/or through an IV.
Computed tomography angiography (also called CT angiography or CTA) is a CT scan used to visualize arterial and venous vessels throughout the body. Using contrast injected into the blood vessels, images are created to look for blockages, aneurysms, dissections, and stenosis. CTA can be used to visualize the vessels of the heart, the aorta and other large blood vessels, the lungs, the kidneys, the head and neck, and the arms and legs.
Cardiac Scoring is a non-invasive CT scan of the heart that calculates your risk of developing coronary artery disease, by measuring the amount of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries. Plaque or calcium build-up in the coronary arteries causes heart disease and can lead to a heart attack. The coronary calcium scan is a better predictor of coronary events than cholesterol screening or other risk factor assessments.