Imaging the Heart with CT
Advances in CT scanning technology have resulted in the latest generation of CT scanners being able to rapidly generate high-resolution images of the heart including the coronary arteries. At its St George's Radiology site, the Christchurch Radiology Group has a Siemens SOMATOM Definition Dual Source 64-slice scanner, one of the fastest cardiac CT scanners available, and the first of its kind in New Zealand. In comparison to older technology, images of the heart can be acquired with shorter scan times, less intravenous contrast and lower radiation doses.
CT Coronary Angiography (CCTA)
A CT coronary angiogram (CCTA) is a non-invasive imaging alternative for the evaluation of coronary artery disease. In appropriately selected patients, studies with satisfactory image quality have a sensitivity for the detection of haemodynamically significant coronary stenosis of greater than 95%. In a small proportion of patients, CT coronary angiography does not provide satisfactory images, and further investigation may be required.
As CT coronary angiography utilizes intravenous contrast and radiation to generate images, it should only be performed where potential benefits outweigh the risks of contrast and radiation exposure.
Criteria for Southern Cross Member having a CT Coronary Angiography