How is a Cardiac CT performed?

How is a Cardiac CT performed?

Cardiac CT¹, also known as cardiac computed tomography, is a non-invasive imaging technique that allows doctors to visualize the heart and its blood vessels. It provides detailed information about the structure and function of the heart, helping in the diagnosis and treatment of various cardiovascular conditions. But how exactly is a cardiac CT performed? Let's take a closer look.

What is a Cardiac CT?

Before diving into the procedure, it's important to understand what a cardiac CT is. It is a specialized type of CT scan that uses X-rays and advanced computer algorithms to create detailed cross-sectional images of the heart. These images can show the coronary arteries, heart chambers, valves, and other structures, helping doctors identify any abnormalities or blockages.


Prior to the cardiac CT, certain preparations may be required. The patient may be asked to avoid eating or drinking for a few hours before the procedure. It is also important to inform the healthcare provider about any allergies, medications, or medical conditions.

The Procedure

During the cardiac CT, the patient lies on a table that slides into a large, doughnut-shaped machine called a CT scanner. Electrodes² are placed on the patient's chest to monitor the heart's electrical activity. The scanner rotates around the body, taking multiple X-ray images from different angles.

To enhance the visibility of the blood vessels, a contrast dye may be injected into a vein in the arm. This dye helps highlight the coronary arteries and improves the accuracy of the images. Some patients may experience a warm sensation or a metallic taste in the mouth when the dye is injected.

Risks and Benefits

Cardiac CT is generally considered safe, but like any medical procedure, it carries some risks. The exposure to radiation is minimal, but pregnant women and individuals with kidney problems should inform their healthcare provider beforehand. Allergic reactions to the contrast dye are rare but possible.

The benefits of cardiac CT are numerous. It provides detailed images of the heart and blood vessels, helping doctors detect and diagnose conditions such as coronary artery disease³, heart valve problems, and congenital heart defects. It can also guide treatment decisions and monitor the effectiveness of interventions.


Cardiac CT is a valuable tool in the field of cardiology, allowing doctors to obtain detailed images of the heart and its blood vessels. By understanding how a cardiac CT is performed, patients can feel more informed and prepared for the procedure. If you have any concerns or questions, it is always best to consult with your healthcare provider.



1. CT coronary angiogram | Mayo Clinic

2. What are ECG Electrodes? | Cardiac X

3. What are the different types of heart disease? | Cardiac X

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