A CT Scan Heart is generally referred to as computed tomography. While in the case of heart, a CTA is performed which is known as a computed tomography angiogram. In CTA, an innovative technology of CT along with intravenous (IV) is used in which a dye named contrast material is given to an individual either through injection or in fluid form. This dye is used to get a better view of the coronary vessels.
Moreover, this CTA is also known as multi-slice computed tomography (MSCT). While undergoing the process of a CTA, an individual has to perform an X-ray of the entire body to spot illness. These images can also be seen on a computer screen. Similarly, a CTA is also used as a non-invasive technique to highlight the presence of jam or clot in the heart arteries.
Why is it necessary to conduct CT Scan Heart?
A CTA is used to get an insight into the heart conditions like:
- Congenital heart illness: This type of heart illness is known as a coronary irregularity that exists from the birth of the child. It causes a negative effect on the coronary valves and the blood vessels. Congenital illness can be of several types and some of them may not show any indications. However, it may start with a minor medical problem and lead to serious complications that can be life-threatening.
- Blockage in the heart arteries: This blockage can be caused by the accumulation of solid material in the heart arteries that are named as lipid plaque.
- Injuries and blood lumps: Sometimes, CTA is conducted to get a view of the injuries and the damages present in the primary heart valves. Moreover, it can also be performed to verify the existence of a clot in the heart chambers.
- Tumour: A CTA can preferably detect the tumor more appropriately with enhanced computerized technology instead of a traditional X-Ray.
The procedure of conducting CT Scan Heart
As the CT scan is an in-depth view of the body’s insight, so the preparation and the procedure take time. In the examination, a dye named a contrast material is used in the diagnosis of the illness. The contrast material enters the individual’s body either by injections or in a fluid form. For heart examination, the radiologist might inject an intravenous line (IV) in the vein to insert radioactive dye into an individual’s arm.
Moreover, the physician may advise a candidate to fast for almost eight hours prior to the examination and also restrict to caffeinated drinks that can fluctuate the heart rate calculation. The patient may also be given a beta-blocker prior to a CTA to normalize the heart rate and take a clear view of the heart. During the CT scan, the patient is advised not to wear any kind of metal object that can intrude on the procedure. Once all the precautions have been met, the patient is advised to lie down on the table facing the scanner. The examination is conducted via a control room and the communication takes place via an intercom.
The table where the candidate is lying down gradually enters the CT-scan machine, and then the x-ray apparatus begins to interchange its position and provides some images of the insight of the body. An individual can experience various sounds of the scanner when it is operating and taking pictures of the body from numerous angles. However, the CT scan for the heart does not take a long time.
During this procedure, body movement is strictly forbidden as it can intrude on taking proper images of the body. Moreover, the CT-scan assistant or the physician might ask the patient for holding the oxygen for a while to prevent chest movement. Once the test is being conducted, the pictures are then referred to the radiologist department for further discussion about the patient’s condition. After that, the physician will recommend medication in case of diagnosis of any coronary disease.
Risk factors of a CT Scan Heart
- Contrast dye: Mostly the contrast dye which is being used in the CT scan includes iodine that must be drained out from the body through the kidneys. It causes the certain problem;
- Difficulty in flushing out dye: If the kidneys are affected by diabetes or kidney infection, there can be difficulty in flushing the dye out of the body. In this situation, an extra amount of liquid is being used to extract the dye out of an individual’s body.
- Skin problems: The side effects of the consumption of the dye might include itching and skin rash.
- Other Problems: It can also cause severe symptoms like difficulty in breathing, and heart arrest.
- Radiation: An individual would have to experience some radiation during the examination. However, the number of radioactive waves depends upon the module of technology that is being used in it. Radiation from a CTA enhances the risk of developing cancer. Pregnant females are not advised to have a CT angiogram as it can harm the unborn child as well.