When heart disease is suspected, confirming a diagnosis and moving forward with measures to slow or stop its progression can make all the difference in the world for increasing chances for longevity. While functional stress tests are the traditional method for detecting heart conditions, CT scans have proven themselves as effective, a new study reveals.
CT scans involve the use of three-dimensional imaging technology to see inside the body and gauge the narrowing of heart arteries. Functional tests, such as a stress test, rely on other techniques, including ultrasound, to do the same. While both can lead to an important diagnosis, CT scans tend to be the safer alternative, researchers have concluded. These tests rely on a lower dose of radiation than the alternatives. This is an important fact since radiation has been linked with the development of cancer.
If your doctor has recommended a CT scan to gauge the condition of the heart and its arteries, you can rest assured this simple procedure will be relatively fast and pain-free. To undergo the procedure, patients are asked to lie down on a table. This table is moved through a ring that takes the images. Contrast may or may not be used to help doctors gauge the heart’s function.
All told, the procedure only takes a short amount of time and can provide doctors the glimpse inside the body needed to make a proper diagnosis. The results are generally available pretty fast and give doctors the information needed to protect their patients from the worst heart disease can dish out.
Heart disease is a serious condition that claims many lives each year. Detecting it before a heart attack occurs can enable proper measures to be taken to prevent this eventuality. A CT scan is an important test that can outline the need for evasive action early and effectively.