Basic Facts:

  • Cardiac computed tomography (CT) for Calcium Scoring uses special x-ray equipment to measure the amount of calcium built up in the wall of the coronary arteries, the vessels that provide blood supply to the heart muscle.  The general principle is that higher calcium levels in the walls of the vessels is associated with more blockages on the inside of those vessels. No IV contrast or dye is needed for this procedure.
  • A coronary CT angiogram is mainly used to check for narrowed or blocked arteries in your heart (coronary artery disease). However, your doctor can use it to check your heart for other conditions. It provides similar information as a cardiac catherization, but it is considered non-invasive. Dye (contrast) is injected into an IV in the arm and a CT scanner is used to take detailed images of the heart, especially the coronary arteries.
CT scan

Your Virginia Heart Care Team will give you instructions about how to prepare for your cardiac CT. You can drive yourself to the appointment, and you'll be able to drive after your test.

A CT scan uses X-rays to view specific areas of your body. These scans use safe amounts of radiation to create detailed images, which can help your doctor to detect any problems. A heart, or cardiac, CT scan is used to view your heart and blood vessels.



There are no post-test restrictions for a cardiac CT or CT angiogram. After the procedure, you’ll be able to leave and go about your day. 
Your Virginia Heart Care Team will contact you with your results.