Cardiac Computed Tomagraphy (CT) Scanning - Basics

What is Cardiac CT?

A cardiac CT scan is a non-invasive way of obtaining information about the location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries – the vessels that supply oxygen-containing blood to the heart wall. Plaque is a build-up of fat and other substances, including calcium, which can narrow the arteries or even close off blood flow to the heart over time. The result may be painful angina in the chest or a heart attack.

Because calcium is a marker of coronary artery disease (CAD), the amount of calcium detected on a cardiac CT scan is a helpful diagnostic tool. The findings on cardiac CT are expressed as a calcium score. Another name for this test is coronary artery calcium scoring.


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