Coronary Artery Plaque: How Cardiac CT Can Help Detect It
A cardiac CT scan can show the presence of coronary artery plaque, which is a buildup of cholesterol and other materials in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. This plaque can narrow the arteries and cause chest pain, shortness of breath, and other symptoms. If the plaque ruptures, it can cause a heart attack. A cardiac CT scan can help detect coronary artery plaque so that it can be treated before it causes serious problems.
Precautions Before Undergoing A Scan
If you’re scheduled for a cardiac CT scan, there are a few things you should do (and avoid doing) beforehand to ensure an accurate result. First, don’t eat or drink anything for four hours before your scan. You’ll also need to avoid wearing any jewelry or metal objects, as they can interfere with the images. You may be asked to wear a hospital gown during the procedure. Once in the scanner room, lie on a bed that slides into and out of the scanning machine. The technician will then position you so that your head and shoulders are positioned in the opening of the scanner. In order to get clear images of coronary arteries, it’s important that your arms and legs not block any part of the scanner field. Ask questions if anything is unclear or if you have difficulty moving into position; technicians will gladly help out!
How To Avoid Side Effects After The Scan
1. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids before and after the scan.
2. Don’t eat or drink anything for four hours before the scan.
3. Follow the fasting instructions given to you by your doctor or the facility staff.
4. Avoid wearing jewelry or other metal objects that could interfere with the CT images.
5. Tell the technologist if you have any allergies or are pregnant.
6. You may be asked to hold your breath for short periods of time during the scan.
7. The scanning itself is painless, but you may feel some discomfort from lying still on the table for a long period of time.
What are 3 causes of coronary artery disease?
- Smoking. Smoking is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease.
- High blood pressure. High blood pressure (hypertension) puts a strain on your heart and can lead to CHD.
- High cholesterol.
- High lipoprotein.
- Lack of regular exercise.
What are 4 types of heart diseases coronary artery disease?
You might not be diagnosed with coronary artery disease until you have a heart attack, angina, stroke or heart failure. It’s important to watch for heart symptoms and discuss concerns with your health care provider. Invasive coronary angiography is considered the “gold standard” for the diagnosis of CHD involving the epicardial coronary vessels, but it is limited by its invasive nature, attendant risks, inability to assess the microcirculation, and cost