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Cardiac Computerized Axial Tomography


  • A cardiac computed tomography is a test that is used to take pictures of your heart. It is also called a cardiac CT. This test is done using x-rays and a computer. The CT scan machine is shaped like a large ring, and has a table that goes through it. A cardiac CT may be done with or without contrast (dye). Dye is a type of liquid that is put into your blood vessels. The dye helps caregivers see problems with your heart and it's blood vessels.
  • A cardiac CT done for calcium scoring can show if you are at risk of having a heart attack. Certain heart conditions can cause chest pain or trouble breathing. A cardiac CT may show the cause of these symptoms. If you have had other heart tests, a cardiac CT can help explain the results of those tests. It may also be done before heart surgery to help caregivers plan the surgery. A cardiac CT can show a heart problem that may need treatment. It can also help you and your caregiver decide on a treatment plan if one is needed.



  • Keep a current list of your medicines: Include the amounts, and when, how, and why you take them. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Use vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.
  • Take your medicine as directed: Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working as expected. Tell him about any medicine allergies, and if you want to quit taking or change your medicine.

Ask your caregiver when to return for a follow-up visit:

  • Keep all appointments. Write down any questions you may have. This way you will remember to ask these questions during your next visit. Tell your caregiver about any new signs and symptoms you have. Your caregiver will talk to you about the results of your test.


  • You are using a medical device that does not work as it did before your CT scan.
  • You vomit (throw up) or feel like vomiting.
  • You have new stomach pain.
  • You feel dizzy.
  • You have less urine, or you are not urinating as often as before your CT scan.
  • You see a new rash on your body.
  • You have a fever (high body temperature).


  • You feel very light-headed and weak.
  • You faint (pass out).
  • You suddenly have chest pain.
  • You suddenly have trouble breathing.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Cardiac Computerized Axial Tomography (Aftercare Instructions)

Micromedex® Care Notes