Often used as a diagnostic tool for early heart disease, CCTA is a technique for finding small blockages in coronary arteries. With CCTA, the Summa Health cardiac team can view the structures of the heart and coronary arteries in any dimension, including a three-dimensional view. This allows us to rule in or out significant heart and artery disease, or congenital abnormalities. And we can see it in just a few minutes. What’s more, CCTA provides less radiation than nuclear stress testing, and often less than cardiac catheterization.
The CT scanner is a large square machine with a circular hole, often described as looking like a donut, that links to the ECG. You will be asked to hold your breath and lie very still during the test. A contrast dye is injected into your arm as you lie on a sliding table. The CT scanner then rotates taking multiple highly detailed pictures or images (angiograms) of the coronary arteries of your beating heart. These arteries supply blood to the heart muscle, and disease of these vessels (atherosclerosis) is responsible for most heart attacks.
Summa Health’s state-of-the-art scanner can acquire the images of the entire heart in a single heartbeat in many patients. There is minimal risk with CCTA, and the results are over 95% accurate. It is often used in adjunct to structural heart and EP programs.
For more information, schedule an appointment with the Summa Health Heart and Vascular Institute.