Computed tomography of coronary arteries with a contrast agent
A CT scan of the blood vessels of the heart, i.e. coronary arteries – this test enables to assess changes in the heart’s blood vessels. The main indication for the test is diagnosis of ischaemic heart disease.
The treating physician will refer the patient to the test and provide a referral. X-rays and a contrast agent containing iodine which is injected into the vein are used in performing the test. The test generally lasts for 10 minutes. The CT scan of the coronary arteries is mainly used for patients with a high risk of ischaemic heart disease, who show signs of ischaemic heart disease and who are suspected of suffering from a narrowing of the blood vessels due to atherosclerosis.
Such patients have often previously undergone an exercise test and require further tests for verifying the presence of ischaemic heart disease. Patients with high blood pressure and a high cholesterol level, smokers, overweight patients, diabetics and those who have a family history of myocardial infarction are at a high risk of ischaemic heart disease. If the CT scan of the coronary arteries indicates significant changes, an invasive examination of the coronary arteries – coronary angiography, i.e. selective coronarography (SCG) – will generally be performed for final diagnosis of ischaemic heart disease.
A referral is required for the test.