Cardiac imaging tests are used to screen for heart disease. They can determine what is causing your symptoms, monitor your heart and find out if your treatment is working. Cardiac (heart) imaging procedures include CT Coronary Angiography, Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring and MRI Heart (Cardiac MRI). Our specialist radiologists supervise or perform these diagnostic procedures in our clinics across the Central Queensland.
An echocardiogram, or an ‘echo’ is a common procedure undertaking for cardiac imaging. It uses ultrasound (sound waves) to produce an image of your heart. No radiation is involved. Your heart muscle, valves, large blood vessels and blood flow can be assessed in great detail. Echocardiography provides your doctor with information about the blood pressure within the chambers of the heart and lungs. Echocardiography is not dangerous and does not involve radiation or X-rays. You should not feel pain or discomfort.
A technician will place small metal disks called electrodes on your chest. These electrodes have wires which attach to the ultrasound machine. This machine monitors your heart rhythm during the test. To image the heart, the technician will press firmly as he or she moves the transducer across your chest and will ask you to briefly hold your breath during the test. For most of the test, you will be required to lie still.
Contact our friendly staff for more information.
Our cardiac imaging services includes:
- CT calcium scoring (CACS)
- CT cardiac angiography (CTCA) Cardiology Consulting Service
A CT coronary angiogram (CTCA) is a non-invasive imaging study used to evaluate the coronary arteries.
Is there any preparation?
Yes. As you will be having an injection of the x-ray contrast, you will be asked to have no food for 2 hours before but you may keep drinking water. It is good to have a slow and steady heart rate for this scan, so you will be asked to not smoke, consume any caffeine (this includes tea, coffee, sports/energy drinks, coca cola, chocolate etc.), take any Viagra, Chialis or Levitra, or exercise for 24 hours prior to the scan.
What to expect at your appointment?
You will be asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to your scan to complete all necessary paperwork. When that is done, our cardiac nurse will take you through to check your blood pressure and heart rate. As we need a low steady heart rate for the scan, sometimes it is necessary to give you a medication called metropolol and our Radiologist will discuss this with you. If we give you some metropolol, it takes up to an hour to take effect. When your heart is slow enough to do the scan, the Radiographer will take you through for your scan. You may be asked to change into a gown. You will need to remove any jewellery from the area being scanned. You will need to lie on the CT table and the radiographer will put a cannula in your arm for the x-ray contrast and connect you to an ECG. The scan is triggered a certain point in your heart beat to help get better pictures. When the scan is all finished you will be able to get changed and have a tea or coffee. If you have been given some metropolol, you will need to wait for approximately 30 minutes before you are allowed to leave.
How long does the scan take and when will my Doctor have the results?
The scan itself takes only a few seconds but the whole procedure of getting ready takes 15-20 minutes. Your Doctor will receive a report within 48 hours.
An echocardiogram may take up to 45 minutes to perform.
Cardiac CT takes approximately an hour.
Calcium scoring takes approximately 15 minutes.
Generally, the results will be sent to your doctor the next day.
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