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Cardiac CT scan

CT coronary angiography and calcium scoring

A cardiac CT scan offers a non-invasive technique to evaluate the heart arteries and structure of the heart using X-rays.

About a cardiac CT

Computed tomography (CT) uses X-rays to acquire high-resolution, 3D images of your heart and coronary arteries. It is able to accurately detect the presence and extent of different plaques within your arteries, before they are detectable by other techniques. 

Often this scan is preceded by a heart calcium scan. This enables the measurement of calcified plaque within the heart arteries. This provides a powerful estimate of your risk of future heart attacks and permits the commencement of early protective treatment.

What happens during a cardiac CT scan?

The Harley Street Clinic is proud to be able to offer the latest and most accurate diagnostic equipment in CT scanning. In this video, Mr Ronak Rajani explains how a CT scan works and what happens during a cardiac CT scan.

Need to know

  • What happens during a cardiac CT scan? icon plus

    A CT scan usually lasts between 15 to 20 minutes and is done as an outpatient appointment. After a small drip (cannula) has been inserted in your arm, you’ll be escorted into the scanning room where you’ll be asked to lie comfortably on your back on the scanning table.

    Four heart activity sensors will be positioned on your chest to obtain still images of your heart. An x-ray dye is injected into the drip, and the pictures are acquired as you move through the doughnut-shaped scanner. The total time you can expect to be on the scanner is approximately five minutes. After the scan you will be disconnected from heart activity sensors and escorted back into the waiting room.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the test to you and answer any questions you may have. You’ll be asked not to consume a heavy meal for at least four hours prior to the scan, and to avoid caffeine-based products for up to 12 hours before your appointment. You may also be asked to take some tablets prior to your scan, these are to safely slow down and regulate your heart rate (beta-blockers). This helps to ensure the highest quality images can be taken at the low radiation doses.
  • After your scan icon plus

    Since the test is non-invasive, you will be able to return home shortly after your scan. If you are given an intravenous beta blocker, you may be asked to wait a short while until the effects of the medication wear off and your heart rate returns to normal. You will not be able to drive for at least three hours.

    The images will be reviewed by your consultant radiologist and the results will be sent to your cardiologist. Your CT scan data may also be sent on for a HeartFlow Analysis. This is a sophisticated bioengineering analysis that enables a detailed assessment of your heart arteries, to assess the impact of any blockages on blood flow. Your consultant will speak to you about your results and any next steps.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our locations

From complex surgery to tests and diagnostic procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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