A new technique is now offered at Spire Southampton Hospital, Hampshire, helping to identify your risk of coronary heart disease. This CT scan is designed to look for calcium in your coronary arteries and will identify the amount and location of any calcium deposits. If no calcium is detected your risk of having a heart attack is generally lower than if you have calcium present. A calcium score can then be calculated which helps indicate your risk of coronary artery disease.
A fast and accurate way to help identify your risk of heart disease
What does the test involve?
The scan is fast, safe, accurate, painless and non-invasive, taking just 15-20 minutes to perform. You will be asked to change in to a gown and the CT Radiographer will then bring you in to the scan room and explain the procedure to you. The scanner is open at both ends, so you are not enclosed.
During the procedure you will lie on your back on the CT scanning table with your arms raised above your head as the scan table moves slowly in and out of the CT scanner. The CT Radiographer will attach three sticky pads to your chest and these will be connected to an ECG (heart) monitor. The ECG monitor will enable the scanner to take the scan when your heart is at rest. You will simply be asked to hold your breath a few times while a series of pictures is taken.
What do I need to do before the test?
When you make your appointment you may be asked to avoid caffiene for four hours before to the scan. Caffeine can affect your resting heart rate, so omitting this prior to the scan can help improve the quality of the images.