- Cardiac Computed TomographyJohn R. Burg MD Cardiac Center
- To Make an Appointment:
801 N. 29th St.
Billings, MT 59101
A Computed Tomography (CT) scan is an X-ray procedure which combines many X-ray images with the aid of a computer to generate cross-sectional views and three-dimensional images of the internal organs and structures of the body.
The Cardiac CT exam helps the physician identify soft plaque (blockages) and calcium in the arteries, and look at the structure, shape and size of the heart. In addition, it also reviews portions of the lungs.
Imagine your body as a loaf of bread and you are looking at one end of the loaf. As you remove each slice of bread, you can see the entire surface of that slice from the crust to the center. The body is seen on CT scan slices in a similar fashion from the skin to the central part of the body.
The first image that is taken determines the Calcium Score. As we all age our arteries develop plaque build up on the inside. This plaque over time develops calcium deposits. This is called atherosclerosis or “hardening of the arteries.” If there is too much calcium inside the arteries, the rest of the CT cardiac exam is not done as it would not give a reliable indication of how open the arteries are.
High calcium scores are associated with increased risk of heart attack. The calcium score can help guide the physician in lowering a patient’s controllable risks.
The study is interpreted by a board certified radiologist and/or cardiologist. For more information about this exam, talk with your physician.