The Swedish Heart and Vascular Institute is one of the first facilities in the Pacific Northwest to use the latest generation of high-speed computed tomography (CT) scanners.

The coronary CT angiography (CCTA) takes 64-cross-section images of the heart with each rotation and is fast enough to take motion-free images that are sharper and more detailed than ever before. This CT can be used to evaluate a patient with chest pain, anginal equivalent or angina, or to clarify an uncertain nuclear imaging stress test. It is also an excellent tool for assessing patients with symptoms of numerous other conditions, such as pulmonary emboli (blood clot in the lungs).

The CCTA is consistently able to rule out significant narrowing of the major coronary arteries, and can also non-invasively detect “soft plaque,” or fatty matter, in the artery walls that has not yet hardened but that may lead to future problems. This advance warning allows patients to seek the medical treatment and/or make the lifestyle changes that may prevent serious health problems in the future.