10 Minutes Test for Coronary Artery Disease
The NYU Medical Center Radiology Department has introduced a revolutionary technology, Ultrafast Computer Tomography (CT), in screening examinations to detect early signs of heart disease. The hospital is using the new Siemens Plus 4 Volume Zoom Multidetector CT scanner. The examination is quick - it takes only ten minutes - non-invasive and more accurate than a chest x-ray.
The patient lies on a table connected to equipment that takes very rapid pictures of their moving heart. The patient holds their breath for about thirty-seconds as the CT image takes x-rays that are "fast" enough to effectively freeze cardiac motion. A radiologist then looks at a picture of the heart on a computer screen to determine the calcium scoring, which indicates the extent or chances of heart disease developing.
"This is a new preventive tool and a quick, painless way for men and women who are over 40 years old to find out if they are at risk of having a heart attach," said Dr. Andrew Litt, Vice Chairman, Radiology Department, NYU Medical Center. "In addition to saving lives, this technology will ultimately save the health care system a tremendous amount of money and resources."
Ultrafast Computed Tomography detects amounts of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries that indicate the potential for severe disease in individuals who may otherwise have no symptoms of heart disease. Studies have found a high correlation between the presence of calcification and the occurrence of atherosclerosis, which can cause heart disease.
The results from screening examinations can help to signify that an individual is in a potential high-risk heart attack group. Patients can do something about it my taking steps to prevent the disease from progressing and suffering an actual heart attack. NYU Medical Center Radiology Department is targeting middle-aged men and women to sign up for screening examinations in anticipation that knowledge from the results could help save lives.
Risk factors for coronary artery disease for people who are considering getting an Ultrafast Computer Tomography include: age (men over 40 and women over 50 years old), smoking, stress and anxiety, being overweight, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol level, a sedentary life-style and a family history of coronary artery disease.
The NYU Medical Center is offering patients a combination of Ultrafast Computer Tomography and Lung Cancer Screening examinations.
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