Cardiac Computerized Tomography (CT Scan)

Dr. Alrich L. Gray // Central Montana Heart & Vascular Institute

Cardiac Computerized Tomography (CT Scan)

A CT Scan uses X-rays to view specific areas of your body. These scans use safe amounts of radiation to create detailed images, which can help your doctor to detect any problems. A heart, or cardiac, CT scan is used to view your heart and blood vessels. During the test, a specialized dye is injected into your bloodstream. The dye is then viewed under a special camera in a hospital or testing facility.

A heart CT scan may also be called a coronary CT angiogram if it’s meant to view the arteries that bring blood to your heart. The test may be called a coronary calcium scan if it’s meant to determine whether there’s a buildup of calcium in your heart.

Your doctor may order a heart CT scan to look for certain conditions, including:

  • Congenital heart disease, or birth defects, in the heart
  • Buildup of a hard substance known as lipid plaque that may be blocking your coronary arteries
  • Defects or injury to the heart’s four primary valves
  • Blood clots within the heart’s chambers
  • Tumors in or on the heart

A heart CT scan is a common test for people experiencing heart problems. This is because it allows your doctor to explore the structure of the heart and the adjacent blood vessels without making any incisions.