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Coronary CT

CT scans have been used to look at various anatomic regions, but until recently, have not been useful for the heart because it is continuously in motion. CT is very effective in looking at "static" areas, such as the brain, abdominal cavity, and extremities. Most early CT scanners take 1-8 pictures (slices) per minute, much slower than the rate of the heart. It’s like the blurry image that occurs when a picture of a moving object is taken with a still camera.

St. Joseph Heart Institute’s 64-Slice Coronary CT Scanner provides ultra clear visualizations of the heart and coronary arteries. Our CT offers different and unique information from angiography. It not only determines the severity of blockages, but it also directly visualizes the atherosclerotic plaque deposited in the vessel wall. It can identify the early stages of soft (fatty and fibrous) plaque formation even before it can be detected on x-ray angiography images. It also visualizes calcified plaque, which occurs frequently in chronic coronary artery disease.

An added advantage is that patients who have already undergone revascularization procedures including stenting and bypass can now be imaged non-invasively.

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