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Cardiac Center of Texas
Vein Clinic of Texas

4201 Medical Center Drive
Suite 380
McKinney, TX 75069

1600 Coit Road
Suite 209
Plano, TX 75075

(p) 972-529-6939
(f) 972-529-6935

Office Hours

Mon - Fri 8:00 a.m. - 5 p.m. CST

Memberships & Accreditation

Meet Dr. Khan

Cardiac and Coronary CT Angiography

What is a CT Scan For?

CT is a radiological method which has been used since 1974 to visualize certain regions of your body slice by slice.  Today, CT technology is an indispensable tool in medicine.  It is used for routine examinations of the entire body.

CT Scans Can Assist Your Physician In:

  • Detecting strokes, head injuries, herniated discs, abscesses.
  • Locating fractures.
  • Determining the extent of bone and soft tissue damage in trauma patients; in such cases it is especially helpful to have an imaging procedure which allows a fast first diagnosis.
  • Diagnosing changes in various organs.
  • Diagnosing or excluding diseases.

Cardiac CT Scan:

With the aid of computed tomography, physicians are now able to look into the coronary arteries without having to introduce a catheter.  CT allows true-to-detail three dimensional images of the inside of the heart and other parts of the body without having to go to the hospital.

What Happens During The Examination?

During the examination you will be lying on a comfortable table (usually on your back).  This table will then slowly move you through the opening of the examination unit called the gantry.  All you need to do now is pay attention to the instructions of the CT personnel who may, for example, ask you to briefly hold your breath or not to move certain regions of your body.  As with conventional X-ray examinations, you will not feel the acquisition of CT images at all.  You will only hear a low whirring noise.  The patient table will move slightly during the examination.

How Is The CT Image Or CT Scan Made?

While you are in the gantry, the X-ray system is taking extremely detailed cross-sectional images of your body.  Based on the data acquired, the computer then generates the so-called result images.  This way it aids your physician in reliably and precisely visualizing and then diagnosing the presence or absence of disease inside your body.

Contrast Medium – Why?

Depending on the examination, a contrast medium may be administered to aid in strengthening the resulting diagnosis.  Most people tolerate the contrast medium without any problems and merely feel flushed for a moment.  Since the contrast medium contains iodine which may cause an allergic reaction in some people, you should consult with your physician regarding any existing allergies prior to the examination.  Should you feel any discomfort during the examination, you can communicate this to the CT team at any time.  Modern scanners are equipped with an intercom system for this purpose.

How Long Does A CT Scan Take?

There is no good general answer to this question.  The duration of a CT examination depends on which body regions are scanned.  Although with a modern spiral CT scanner the actual images are produced within a few seconds, you should expect the examination to last approximately 15 to 30 minutes.  If a contrast medium is used, the examination will take longer.  For abdominal scans you may also have to drink a contrast medium that will coat the gastrointestinal tract approximately one hour before the CT scan takes place.

How Should You Prepare?

To ensure that optimal results are obtained, your cooperation is required.  Please talk to the physician referring you to CT.  He will give you detailed information on how to prepare yourself for the examination.  Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant.  Like other X-ray examinations, CT scans should not be performed during pregnancy because of the exposure to radiation.

A Few General Tips:

  • If you have images from previous examinations (including X-rays), please bring them with you.  Arrive at least 30 minutes early.
  • For head and neck examinations please remove all jewelry, hairpins, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and dentures or leave them at home.
  • For abdominal examinations please ask your physician how many hours prior to your examination you should refrain from eating or drinking.

Contrast CT

  • It is very important to let your physician know if you have had previous allergic reactions to a contrast medium, iodine or shellfish or if you have asthma.
  • If you have diabetes or take medication please inform the CT technologist.
  • Recent blood level of BUN/Creatinine required (no later than 90 days) if you are 65 or older, have a history of renal insufficiency or you are Diabetic.
  • If you have taking Metformin for Diabetes (ex. Glucovance, Glucophage, Fortamet, Avandamet, or Riomet), you will be requested to stop taking it 24 hours before CT and 48 hours after the CT examination.

Cardiac CT Angiography

  • Avoid caffeine or any other stimulants for at least 4 hours prior to the test.
  • Drink plenty of water the day of the test.
  • You may be given a Beta Blocker (to slow the heart rate) prior to the examination.

A Final Word

CT sees inside your body into areas that cannot be visualized by standard X-ray examinations.  The results of computed tomography allows your physician to diagnose certain diseases earlier and more precisely.  And since diseases are treated more successfully when diagnosed early, CT angiogram scans can help save lives.  With CT you will receive the best of treatments from highly qualified and experienced experts.

At Cardiac Center of Texas we have our own Siemens 64 slice CT in our office for patient convenience. For further information please contact Cardiac Center of Texas at 972-529-6939 or send us a question through the patient portal under the Patients tab at the top of the page.  Thank you for visiting CardiacCenterOfTexas.com.