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The Gold Standard Heart Imaging Test

Coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) is recommended when the cardiac CT calcium scoring results are greater than 0. The Coronary CTA is the gold standard heart imaging test that helps determine if plaque buildup has narrowed the coronary arteries which supply blood to the heart. Unlike the non-invasive cardiac CT calcium scoring test, with a coronary CTA scan you will receive an iodine-containing contrast material as an intravenous (IV) injection to ensure the best possible images of the heart blood vessels.

Why would I have this test?

You physician or cardiologist may recommend the coronary CTA if you have:

  • suspected abnormal anatomy of the coronary arteries
  • low or intermediate risk for coronary artery disease, including patients who have chest pain and normal, non-diagnostic or unclear lab and ECG results
  • low to intermediate risk atypical chest pain in the emergency department.
  • non-acute chest pain
  • new or worsening symptoms with a previous normal stress test result
  • unclear or inconclusive stress test results
  • new onset heart failure with reduced heart function and low or medium risk for coronary artery disease
  • intermediate risk of coronary artery disease before non-coronary cardiac surgery
  • coronary artery bypass grafts

What are the benefits of a coronary CTA test?

A coronary CTA uses advanced CT technology to obtain 3D images of the moving heart and vessels. Apart from identifying coronary artery narrowing as the cause of chest discomfort, it can also detect other possible causes of symptoms, such as a collapsed lung, blood clot in the vessels leading to the lungs, or aortic abnormalities. Your primary care physician or cardiac specialist, in consultation with a radiologist who would perform the test, will determine whether a coronary CTA is appropriate for you.

For more information, speak to your doctor or contact Gunnison Valley Health's Diagnostic Imaging Department at (970) 641-7253.

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