What to expect after a cardiac CT

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Sep 22, 2017

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Quick Bites

  • Cardiac computed tomography is a painless test.
  • It uses an x-ray machine to take clear, detailed pictures of the heart.
  • After the cardiac CT, most can return to your normal activities.

Cardiac computed tomography, commonly known as cardiac CT, is a painless test that uses an x-ray machine to take clear, detailed pictures of the heart. This common test is used to look for problems in the heart.

During a cardiac CT scan, an x-ray machine will move around your body in a circle. The machine will take a picture of each part of your heart. A computer will put the pictures together to make a three-dimensional (3D) picture of the whole heart. Sometimes an iodine-based dye (contrast dye) is injected into one of your veins during the scan. The contrast dye travels through your blood vessels, which helps highlight them on the x-ray pictures. 

The test involves radiation, although the amount of radiation used is considered small, it's similar to the amount of radiation you're naturally exposed to over a 3-year period. There's a small chance that cardiac CT will cause cancer because of the radiation involved. 

What to expect after the test

After the cardiac CT scan is done, you'll be able to return to your normal activities. A doctor who has experience with CT will provide your doctor with the results of your scan. Your doctor will discuss the findings with you.

Image: Pixabay


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