Frequently Asked Questions

Will my health insurance cover the cost of the cardiac CT scan?
Insurance coverage for cardiac CT varies depending on the type of insurance plan you have and the reason for the scan. Some insurance companies do not cover the cost of the cardiac CT.

Please consult with your insurance company to determine whether or not a cardiac CT is covered, and if so, under what conditions.

What is my exposure to radiation during a cardiac CT?
Cardiac CT scans require the use of x-ray radiation. One of the advantages of our new scanner, the Philips iCT, is a significant reduction in radiation exposure, requiring only one-quarter of the radiation dose of traditional cardiac CTs. Most physicians would agree that the potential benefits of detecting cardiac disease far outweigh the theoretical risks of medical radiation.

What types of heart conditions can the cardiac CT diagnose?
Cardiac CT is useful in the diagnosis and evaluation of the following conditions:

  • Chest pain, chest discomfort or shortness of breath that are suspected to be due to coronary artery disease
  • Evaluation of structural abnormalities of congenital heart disease
  • Evaluation of tumors or other masses within the heart
  • Evaluation of other structural abnormalities of the heart

How long does the scan take?
The actual scan takes approximately ten minutes; however, patients are requested to arrive at least a half hour before their exam, to register and go through necessary preparations.

How quickly can I get the results?
The scans are interpreted the same day, and the results of the scan are sent to the referring physician. Patients should follow-up with their physician to discuss the findings.

Is there anyone for whom this test is not recommended?
Please inform the scheduling desk when calling to make an appointment if any of these conditions apply:

  • Pregnant
  • Known allergies to intravenous contrast (also called "x-ray dye")
  • Kidney disease
  • Asthma or emphysema
  • Atrial fibrillation

How is the CT scan different from other imaging exams?
Cardiac CT scans produce high-resolution images of the arteries, chambers and valves of the heart. Unlike other methods used to detect coronary disease, cardiac CT provides direct visualization of the entire system of coronary arteries, and can detect coronary disease whether or not a blockage is present. Other methods use an indirect means to determine whether or not coronary blockage is present, and therefore, cannot detect the early disease before symptoms occur. Surprisingly, most heart attacks arise from coronary disease lesions that do not block the artery.