CT Heart

Method

 

Surveillance of a CT examination by a doctor and a radiographer

CT examination

CT scan heart

CT scan heart

CT scan heart

CT scan heart

Computed tomography (CT) is an imaging method with the aid of x-rays, which makes it possible to depict a region of the body as non-overlapping layers. Radiological imaging of the heart is employed, for example, to measure calcification in the coronary arteries (calcium-scoring).

During a CT examination, an x-ray tube and a recording system inside the machine’s casing rotate around the patient. The patient’s stretcher moves through the apparatus over the course of the examination.

The x-rays are weakened to varying degrees by your body structures (e.g. bones, muscles, organs, fat). The data acquired in this way are used to produce grey-scale images, the contrasting gradations of which represent the different tissues of the body. It is possible to produce image reconstructions on different spatial levels / in 3-D from the recorded data set. It is not necessary to carry out a further examination for this.

Our modern apparatus will help to keep your exposure to radiation as low as possible. Normally, patients will not be examined during pregnancy due to the x-ray radiation employed.

Preparation

 

Planning of the examination

So that we can plan your examination exactly, it is important to know the results of previous examinations (e.g. previous imaging, clinical examinations, operating or discharge reports, lab values, current medications etc.). You can bring your results into our practice personally or send them to us via fax or e-mail.

Preparation at home

Please do not eat anything for two hours before a CT examination of the heart (cardio CT).

Before the examination, please drink at least 1.5-2 litres of “non-fizzy” liquid (no carbon dioxide).

If you regularly take antidiabetic drugs containing metformin (e.g. Diabesin®, Glucophage®, Metformin®, Siofor®), you must stop taking these for 48 hours before and during the CT examination.

Please bring with you:

  • A towel
  • A top (T-shirt) with no metal parts, e.g. appliquéd decoration

Contrast agent

Usually, it is necessary to administer a contrast agent in order to obtain important additional information for diagnosis. The contrast agents we use are easily tolerated and will be eliminated from the body again within 24 hours. Allergic reactions are very rare.

In order to administer a contrast agent, we require the blood test values creatinine and TSH. Please bring these results with you to your examination.

Claustrophobia

As a rule, claustrophobia is not a problem, as the examination apparatus is very short.

Procedure

 

Prior to the examination you will be questioned about the medical history of your illness to date and your present symptoms. The doctor will also check whether there is a justifiable indication for the examination, i.e. whether the CT is medically useful and necessary.

Before the CT examination you must remove all moveable objects (e.g. jewellery and the like) from the area being examined, and false teeth must also be taken out. You will be placed in a comfortable position, lying on your back on the examination table, and will be given a cannula in an arm vein so that we can administer the contrast agent, and an ECG lead.

The examination table will move back and forward through the computer tomograph several times during the examination. The apparatus is ca. 70 cm in diameter and also very short.

During the examination it is very important to lie absolutely still. Even the smallest of movements (e.g. forceful swallowing, coughing or such like) are sufficient to spoil our evaluation of the results measured.

Please follow instructions exactly, as these are very important for the quality of the images produced. You will be told how to breathe during the examination.

The staff will leave the examination room for the period of data recording, but they will keep in contact with you during the entire examination via loudspeaker and microphone. Should any problems arise, therefore, you can tell us at any time.

The examination takes only a few minutes, whereby the actual recording of data occurs within seconds.

Usually, you will be able to leave our practice immediately after the examination.

A detailed report with the results of the examination will be sent to the doctor who referred you to us. This will usually reach your doctor within a week: in case of medical necessity, it may also come at short notice on the same or the following day.