Heart CT Scan and Risks

Heart CT scan?

CT scan (Computed tomography) is a method of medical imaging that uses radiography to visualize specific areas of your body. These scans use safe quantities of radiation to create a detailed image, This can help your doctor identify complications. A cardiac or cardiac CT scan makes it possible to visualize the heart and blood vessels.

During the test, a special colouring agent is injected into your blood. It is then viewed under a special camera in a hospital or test centre.

A cardiac CT scan can also be known as coronary CT angiography if it is used to see the arteries that provide blood to your cardiac muscles. The test can be referred to as a calcium coronary exam if it is intended to detect if there is a build-up of calcium in your heart.

Why heart CT scan performed?

Your doctor may request a cardiac computed tomography to search for some conditions that are as follows:

  • congenital heart disease, or birth defects in the heart
  • accumulation of a fat known as lipid plaque that may block your coronary arteries.
  • defects or injury to the heart’s four main valves
  • blood clots within chambers of the heart
  • tumours within or over the heart.

A cardiac CT scanner is a common test for those with heart problems. because doctor allows to investigate the structure of the heart and There are no incisions in the adjacent blood vessels.

What are the risks related to a heart CT scan?

There are very few risks associated with a heart CT scan (computed tomography).

Contrast dye

Most contrast agent, sometimes called a dye, used in CT scans with iodine. It is later withdrawn from the body by the kidneys.

If there is a disease or infection in your kidneys, Like diabetes, you may have to drink enough fluids after your test to help your kidneys with dye excretion. However, newer dyes are less likely to cause kidney damage.

Allergic or undesirable reactions to iodine-containing substances are classified as mild, moderate and severe. You may want to tell your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Mild responses to the contrast agent which can be itching and redness of the skin.
  • Moderate responses may include serious rashes or hives.
  • Serious reactions may result in respiratory difficulties and cardiac arrest.

You have a greater risk of allergic or adverse reactions to iodine based material if you have ever had a reaction or if you have received a huge amount of contrast during the last 24 hours.

Other risks include the following:

  • dehydration
  • taking drugs like. nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • some health problems, for example. sickle cell anemia or thyroid disorder.

Check with your doctor if you are concerned about any reaction. Medicines may be available to help prevent reactions.


Like X-rays, there is a certain amount of radiation exposure. Although usually harmless, this is an essential question for pregnant women or those who want to be pregnant. Radiation levels are considered safe for adults there were no listed side effects due to low radiation levels but not for a growing fetus.

Prepare for a heart CT scan?

Your doctor will generally tell you to fast for 4 to 8 hours before the scan. You’ll get a drink of water. However, do not take caffeinated drinks as caffeine can affect your heartbeat.

You must lie on a table during the exam, so that you can wear loose-fitting, comfortable clothes. You will also need to remove all jewelry and other metallic objects from your body, such as piercings.

Most people can go home after the C.T. Unless you have been sedated, it is not necessary to organize transportation.

How is a heart CT scan performed?

A cardiac computed tomography scan is performed in a hospital radiology department or in a clinic specializing in diagnostic procedures.

You can get a beta-blocker before the scan. This medicine slows down the function of your heart to allow you to take clearer pictures. Small sticky disks called electrodes are placed on your chest to register the test. The technologist inserts an intravenous (IV) line into a vein so that he or she can inject the radioactive dye into your arm. You can feel hot or rinsed briefly or get a short-term metallic taste in your mouth when they inject the dye..

Prior to the start of the scan, you lie on a bench, likely in a specific position. The radiologist can use pillows or straps to ensure that you stay in the correct position long enough to get a correct picture. You may also need to hold your breath for long, one-on-one scans, which last only 10 to 20 seconds.

To start the scan, The technologist moves the table using a remote control from a separate piece to the CT machine. The scanner looks like a large plastic and metal doughnut. You are likely to cross the machine several times. Although you are alone in the room, the technician can speak with you through an intercom.

After several scans, you may have to wait a few minutes while technicians examine the images to make sure they are clear enough for your physician to read them. The entire examination should not take longer than 10 minutes.

What happens when you do a heart CT scan?

After the procedure, you can leave and get back to work. The dye comes out naturally from your body. Drinking much water will fix that process.

It doesn’t take long to get your CT results back. The results will be reviewed by your doctor or radiologist.

As the pictures show, your doctor will suggest any lifestyle changes, treatments, or procedures Standard follow-up tests include an stress test and coronary catheterization.

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