CT Scans For Detecting Heart Diseases?

Dr. Khandheria answers the question: 'CT Scans For Detecting Heart Diseases?'

— -- Question: What is the role of CT scan imaging in detecting heart disease?

Answer: Well, CT scan is a relatively new tool for detecting blockages or detecting clots or thickening of the inside lining of the blood vessel. And, in my own experience, that is good for people who have medium likelihood of having a disease. So, for example, a 45 year old lady or a 50 year old man who's smoking, or has high cholesterol, or has a family history, and has chest pain that does not sound like angina, would be a good candidate for it.

Somebody who already has disease, who already has blockages, is really not a good candidate. People who have had bypass operations are not good candidates, and then the very young -- whose likelihood of having disease [is low] -- are also not very good candidates to have a CT scan done, because keep in mind that CT scan does result in some radiation, and the risks of radiation are still unknown.

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