When a physician suspects that you’ve broken a bone, he or she will order an X-ray. If ligament damage is suspected, other types of imaging scans will be recommended to properly visualize the damage and make an accurate diagnosis.
When it comes to your heart, cardiac imaging (also called a heart scan or heart tests) is used to help physicians capture vivid depictions of the heart’s anatomy and determine why it’s working less than optimally. New technologies in cardiac imaging are allowing cardiovascular specialists to more easily make informed diagnoses than ever before, which allows patients to receive necessary treatment faster.
Types of Cardiac Imaging
Cardiovascular disease manifests in many ways, and hundreds of medical conditions can have some impact on the heart and vascular system. That’s why an accurate diagnosis is so important — it helps direct the care a patient receives for his or her specific condition.
To determine the exact issue with a person’s heart, as well as the severity of the condition and how the heart is affected, physicians may employ any of a wide range of cardiac imaging tests, including:
- Cardiac computed (CT) tomography, including CT angiography, which uses X-rays to capture images of the heart
- Cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging, which uses radio waves and magnets to capture images of the heart
- Echocardiography, also called EKG, which uses high-frequency sound waves to capture images of the heart
- Positron emission tomography with CT fusion, which uses small amounts of radioactive material and a specialized camera to evaluate heart function
- Stress tests, which help determine how your heart handles activity
While each test differs in how images or diagnostic data are gathered, these tests can all play an important role in helping a cardiovascular specialist evaluate your heart health. Cardiac imaging is often an important step on your path to resolving a heart-related issue and getting you back to feeling your best.
When your heart isn’t working at its best, cardiac imaging can help identify the root of the issue. Call (602) 952-0002 to schedule an appointment.
Biltmore Cardiology is now using a new CT system, the 64-slice LightSpeed VCT. We are one of the few cardiology practices in Phoenix to offer this advanced diagnostic equipment for specialized testing, now with lower exposure to radiation.
This system helps us obtain the information we need to diagnose disease and life-threatening illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, chest pain, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.
The CT can capture images of a beating heart in five heartbeats or an organ in one second. This is twice as fast as conventional multi-slice CT scanners. We have invested in this advanced technology to provide better service to our patients and earlier detection of coronary heart disease.
Additionally, the calcium score test can be done on our CT to measure the amount of calcium deposited in the coronary arteries (the arteries that carry blood to your heart). The results are expressed as a calcium score and can be a preliminary indicator of the risk of heart disease.
HeartFlow Analysis is an advanced test that shows how each blockage impacts blood flow to your heart. It provides helpful information that your doctor can use to determine the next steps in your treatment plan.