House Call: Advancements in Screening for Heart Disease – Cardiac CTA
Most people have heard of stress tests, which are commonly used by doctors to detect heart problems in their patients.
While these tests are still being administered today, many advancements in the field of cardiac imaging have significantly improved heart disease detection and diagnosis abilities, such as coronary calcium scores and coronary CT angiograms (CTA).
Coronary calcium scores, a form of non-invasive CT scanning, are being used to detect heart problems in individuals who are not symptomatic, yet fall into the high-risk group for heart disease. These scans detect how much calcium build-up is in the arteries of individuals who are at high risk of heart disease and allow cardiologists to take a preventative approach to treating high-risk patients.
Coronary CTAs, also known as cardiac CT angiograms, are another form of advanced imaging being used to closely examine the arteries of individuals who are experiencing symptoms of heart disease, and detect blockages that may have not been severe enough to detect using a traditional stress test. This form of cardiac imaging is also being used more and more to rule out coronary disease in patients that come to emergency departments with chest pain, ultimately avoiding unnecessary hospitalization and healthcare expenses. Coronary CT angiograms are a non-invasive alternative to heart catheterization for patients who have had an abnormal stress test or heart disease symptoms.
By utilizing the latest advancements in cardiovascular imaging, the exceptional team of cardiologists at Cone Health Heart and Vascular Center are able to accurately detect and diagnose heart problems that would have otherwise not been identified with other forms of testing.
Dr. Peter Nishan is a cardiologist at LeBauer HeartCare and a member of the Cone Health medical staff. Dr. Nishan is a 1987 graduate of University of Massachusetts Medical School. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Mount Auburn Hospital, and completed a fellowship in cardiology at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Nishan specializes in cardiac CT and MRI imaging.