...for the patient who has been
having chest pains, one or
more of these
tests will be recommended to determine if coronary
artery disease is the cause.
"Imaging tests" help the
cardiologist see inside the patient's heart -- to diagnose the
presence of heart disease and determine
disease is at an early stage that can be controlled through medication
lifestyle change, or if the patient might benefit from an intervention
such as an angioplasty or stent.
-- t.cam™ gamma camera**
64-MultiSlice CT scan**
Some of these tests
are relatively new and imaging technology is developing at a rapid
pace. Patients need to educate themselves so that they
the testing options available. Increasingly sophisticated and
less invasive testing is allowing patients to benefit from advances
in safety, accuracy and comfort.
For example, CT (computed tomography)
is a type of imaging that played a relatively limited role in heart
disease, mainly to
calcium. But the recent development of the MultiSlice (or multidetector)
scanner is moving this technology to the front of the line. Many
patients who would have previously been referred for cardiac catheterization
for diagnosing coronary artery disease may now be diagnosed using
less invasive CT angiography. With 64-slice scanning technology and
beyond, CT angiography may be moving towards replacing the "gold
standard" of cardiac catheterization for the diagnosis of coronary
This special section
describes the most common imaging tests currently in use and explains
what each test can tell
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