Step 1: We will call you prior to your appointment to discuss specific preparation instructions and your past imaging exams. Be sure to tell us if you are nursing or if there is a chance you are pregnant. We’ll give you a general expectation in terms of time you’ll be in our center, but on average you should budget around 30 – 45 minutes for the CT scan from check-in until departure.
Step 2: On the day of your exam, avoid caffeine and nicotine for three hours prior to your exam. Please arrive 15 minutes early to check in and bring prior imaging results with you, if instructed.
Step 3: Our CT technologist will help you onto the scanner table. Depending on which center you go to for your exam, you may have electrodes attached to your chest to monitor your heart rhythm. Not all CDI locations require electrodes for their scanners.
Step 4: The technologist will go out of the room to run the scanner from a computer located directly next to the scanner suite, visible through the viewing window. At this time, the CT table you are on will move into the scanner and the technologist will take the images. You will be asked to hold your breath for several seconds and CT pictures will be taken of your heart. The actual time you are in the scanner will be around 15 minutes. The actual scan time will be around 2-3 breath holds.
Step 5: After the exam, your images will be electronically sent to one of our radiologists who will review the information and write a report. This information includes a “calcium score” which represents the amount of hard calcium deposits (plaque) in your coronary arteries. The higher the score, the more plaque buildup. If there is no calcium, your score will be “0.” You will receive your score in the mail in approximately a week. The report will also outline how you compare to other individuals of your age and gender, and whether you have any likelihood of obstructive coronary artery disease.