New Non-Invasive CT Coronary Angiogram Service

Published: 21 March 2017

Following the recent investment in a brand new 128 Slice CT Scanner last year, we are pleased to announce the launch of our new non-invasive Cardiac Diagnostic Service. The Siemens Somatom Definition AS CT Scanner’s fast scan time (enabling the scanning of heart rates), excellent high quality images with super sharp contrast and its low dose, make it ideal for CT Coronary Angiograms.

The scans can offer peace of mind to patients with a family history of ischaemic heart disease.  The service is aimed at those patients with stable angina experiencing chest pain on exertion; +/- known IHD (ischaemic heart disease); or abnormal ECG ie LBBB.

Investigation Benefits

Cardiac CT Scanning is a relatively new investigation but is seeing an increasing uptake as a result of the accurate reporting outcomes, the non-invasive approach and simple procedure, as well as the fast reporting of outcomes for patients. It is also recommend by NICE as a first line of investigation for unknown heart disease.

The scan offers a number of benefits including:

• Anatomical Visualisation
• Ability to evaluate plaque number/morphology / degree of stenosis
• Low Dose
• Exclusion of other causes i.e. PE /Lung Pathology / Aortic dissection / Normal variants / Congenital 
• Low Risk i.e. complications
• Quick Test with minimal recovery time

Patient Benefits

The non-invasive procedure is very straightforward for patients, offering a number of advantages compared to alternative investigations.

Fast: The investigation requires an initial one hour appointment during which there will be a 15 minute scan.
Minimal Preparation: Advance preparation is minimal. No caffeine, fizzy drinks or alcohol are permitted for 12 hours prior to the procedure. Any medications can be given as normal except Sidenafil. Driving post procedure is fine unless beta blockers are taken. The patient can eat and drink normally after the procedure.

Reduced Waiting: As well as the fast procedure, the waiting time for reports following the scan is very short, with patients receiving a full report within 24 hours.

Safe – Low Dose: The Siemens Somatom Definition AS CT Scanner applies one of the lowest radiation doses possible (1mSv). This is approximately four times lower than in a normal angiogram.

Same Day CT Scanning - The Patient Process 

On arrival at the hospital patients will be asked to complete a cardiac questionnaire. They will then be observed and undergo a number of simple tests and procedures including:

• The patient is connected to ECG leads and an IV Cannula inserted
• The ideal HR is <70 bpm. Short acting beta blockers will be given if needed (and monitored for up to 30 minutes after the procedure)
• An IV contrast and GTN sprays are given. The side effects are minimal with just a warm, funny taste and a possible sensation of micturition. Short term headaches may also occur
• Contraindications include Severe AS and Asthma 

Cardiac CT Reports

All cardiac scans are reported on by our highly qualified Specialist Radiologists. A disc of the scan, two copies of the report and key high quality images (see examples opposite) are produced. These
are sent to the Consultant Cardiologist to discuss with the patient at a subsequent clinic appointment. A copy of the report is also sent to the original referrer.
The full and comprehensive reports cover:
• Indication
• Risk factors
• Heart rate
• Drugs given
• Dose
• Calcium Score – prognostic indicator
• Anatomical structure including variants
• Coronary vessel plaque assessment
• Conclusion

For further information contact:

Imaging on 020 8949 9030 or email: