Cardiac Scoring

What is a CT Cardiac Scoring?

Cardiac Scoring is an X-ray-based procedure in which images (pictures) are taken of the heart and coronary arteries (blood vessels of the heart). Cardiac Scoring is a screening tool that helps assess the risk of coronary artery disease.

How do I prepare for the exam?

Arrive 30 minutes prior to your exam. Do not ingest anything that can increase your heart rate, such as caffeine. Patients should come in wearing comfortable clothing with no metal in the area to be scanned. 

What will happen during the exam?

A questionaire will be given to the patient to be filled out prior to the scan. The information on this form will assist the Radiologist in the interpretation of the images.

Once the patient is brought into the scan room, the patient will lie on the scan table and cardiac leads (cables) will be placed on the chest. The leads will be connected to a cardiac monitor, which will allow the technologist to scan images with the heart in the proper point of motion.

As the images are taken, the table will rise up and move in and out of a large circle. There will be very specific breathing instructions given which the technologist will inform you of prior to the start of the scan. Heart rate will be monitored and the patient will be given breathing instructions to lower the heart rate to ensure proper scanning. If the heart rate is unable to be lowered, the cardiac scan may need to be postponed.

How long will the procedure take?

The average time of the exam is 15 minutes. 

What will happen after the exam?

After the exam, the technologist will process your images using a computer. A Radiologist will evaluate the images within 72 hours and dictate a report. A transcription of the report will be typed and sent to your physician. You will receive a letter in the mail outlining the exam results and any possible changes to diet or lifestyle that are recommended. 

How will I learn the results?

You will get the results of the exam from your doctor.

Important: If there is any possibility that you are PREGNANT or NURSING a baby, please speak with your referring physician before your scheduled appointment.

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