For more patient information on CCTA
CT screening for heart disease
Computed tomography (CT) screening for heart disease saves lives by identifying patients who are at risk of developing heart disease often before they develop any symptoms.
Coronary artery disease (CAD) or atherosclerotic heart disease is the most common type of heart disease and cause of heart attacks. The disease is caused by plaque building up along the inner walls of the arteries of the heart, which narrows the arteries and restricts blood flow to the heart. It is the leading cause of death worldwide.
Most individuals show no evidence of disease for decades as plaque buildup occurs in their arteries, often resulting in a sudden heart attack.
What is Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography (CCTA)?
MIC offers CCTA as both a diagnostic and a screening tool to identify a patient’s risk of developing heart disease.
CCTA is a fast, safe non-invasive test using an injection of iodine-rich contrast material and CT scanning to examine the arteries that supply blood to the heart and determine whether they have been narrowed by plaque buildup.
Since CCTA can detect both calcified and non-calcified plaque, it shows more signs of heart disease than diagnostic methods such as ECGs or stress tests.
The results can either reassure you that your coronary arteries are normal, or it can help you and your practitioner determine whether lifestyle modifications and/or medication might be beneficial to you.
Is there a cost?
The cost may be reimbursable under certain extended health benefit plans or health spending accounts.
$975 CCTA is offered at MIC on a patient-pay basis.
What to expect
- When you call to book your appointment, one of our booking agents will go over all preparation instructions with you.
- We will provide you with any required medication such as beta blockers.
- You should wear comfortable clothing to your exam. You may be given a gown to wear.
- A nurse or technologist will insert an intravenous (IV) line into a vein in your arm to administer contrast material (dye) during your procedure.
- Our technologist will place small, sticky electrode patches on your chest. The electrodes are attached to an electrocardiograph (ECG) monitor, which shows your heart’s activity during the test.
- The CT scanner is a large machine with a hole, or short tunnel, in the center. You will lie on an examination table that slides into and out of this tunnel while the x-ray tube and electronic x-ray detectors rotate around you.
- The technologist operates the scanner and monitors your examination in an adjacent room. The technologist will be able to talk to you with the use of a speaker and microphone.
- Including all preparations, the CCTA scan usually takes about 15 minutes if your heart rate is slow and steady. It may take longer if your baseline heart rate is fast and you are given a beta-blocker to slow it down.
- The radiologist will review all of the images and provide a detailed report on your examination to your practitioner, usually within 24 hours.