Cardiac CT is a painless test that uses an x-ray machine to take clear and detailed pictures of the heart. Doctors can use this test to help diagnose heart problems. Sometimes contrast dye is injected into one of your veins during the scan. The contrast dye highlights your coronary (heart) arteries on the x-ray pictures.
Doctors can uses cardiac CT to help detect or evaluate:
•Coronary heart disease (CHD). In CHD, a waxy substance called plaque narrows the coronary arteries.
•Calcium build up in the walls of the coronary arteries. Calcium in the coronary arteries may be an early sign of CHD.
•Problems with the aorta. The aorta is the main artery that carries oxygen rich blood from the heart to the body.
•Assess the results of coronary artery bypass grafting. Overtime by-pass grafts can narrow and block and a CT scan can show whether the grafted arteries remain open after surgery.
A cardiac MRI scan uses magnetic and radio waves to create clear pictures of the inside of your heart. Cardiac MRI is a test used to diagnose and assess many diseases and conditions including:
•Coronary heart disease
•Damage caused by a heart attack
•Congenital heart defects
•Screening to exclude heart conditions that may cause cardiac arrest
•Heart valve problems