Adventist Heart and Vascular Institute

Cardiac and Peripheral Vascular CT


A New Generation of Imaging Technology

Adventist Heart and Vascular Institute is pleased to offer their patients the newest and most innovative technology available in cardiovascular care. One such technology is cardiac computed tomography (cardiac CT). Using advanced imaging capabilities and three-dimensional reconstruction, we can now see the walls and the insides of the blood vessels of the heart, brain, lungs, abdomen, and legs completely non-invasively. Using this technology, many patients now avoid invasive catheter angiography.

IHAV was among the first cardiovascular centers in the world to incorporate 64-slice CT angiography into the care of their patients, allowing non-invasive detection and evaluation of cardiac and peripheral vascular disease. IHAV has become a leading center in CT angiography, and in the training of physicians from throughout the country in the use of this technology.

CT Calcium Score
Coronary artery calcification is often the first sign of a heart attack, and is a powerful risk indicator for your chances of developing heart attack. This coronary calcium buildup is detected quickly, easily, and painlessly with a CT Calcium Score. You will receive a score that indicates the extent of calcification of the hearts coronary arteries. If calcium buildup in your arteries is identified, early preventative therapy can be initiated. Screen yourself for coronary artery disease and get peace of mind.

CT Angiography
CT Angiography is a safe, faster non-invasive alternative to cardiac catheterization. This test requires a physician referral.

How it Works
X-Ray beams capture cross section images or “slices” of an area of the body. A computer then combines them into a three-dimensional picture. These highly detailed images allow physicians to detect and diagnose problems without an incision or invasive means. IHAV uses a 64-slice scanner, the industry’s most advanced technology.

The Test- CT Angiography
CT Angiography is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. Physicians examine the arteries that travel to the lungs, heart, neck, kidneys, pelvis, and legs to check for blockages and other problems. Aneurysms in the aorta, brain, or other major blood vessels can be identified. Aortic problems such as dissection (where the layers of the artery peel away from each other), and the ability to check functioning stents (mesh tube used to restore blood flow to blocked arteries) are also identified.

Step by Step Guide To Your CT Angiography Exam

Getting Ready

  • Only drink clear liquids before your test
  • Please refrain from caffeine and smoking for 24 hours.
  • You will be asked if you have allergies or asthma, or if you are breastfeeding.
  • Women will be asked to show results of a negative pregnancy test
  • You may not need to undress, but may be asked to remove jewelry, dentures, or underwire bras.

During the Test
An I.V. will be placed in your arm and contrast material (dye) will be injected through a vein to make blood vessels stand out during the test. An automatic injector machine will inject the dye at a controlled rate. You may feel warmth but this should not be painful at any time.

For coronary exams, you will receive a medication called Nitroglycerine. In addition a medication may be administered through an I.V. in your arm to slow your heart rate. This is done to obtain the best results during the test.

A rotating device (the gantry) spins around you, creating a fan-shaped beam of X-Rays to take pictures in slices of your body. The table will move in and out of the scanner opening. You will be asked to remain still and may be asked to hold your breath periodically. The test takes about 10-25 minutes and your visit will last about an hour.

After the Test
The images will be reviewed by our physicians, and a report will be sent to your referring or ordering physician.

Words of Caution
Some people are allergic to the iodine in the contrast dye. If you have any history of this type of allergy, you will be given medication beforehand to lessen risk. The contrast material can cause problems for patients with kidney disease or severe diabetes. You may be asked to drink extra fluids that day. Pregnant women should not have any type of exam exposing them to X-Rays.

To schedule your CT test with Adventist Heart and Vascular Institute, please call 630-972-8500

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