Advances in medical science has opened up a new non-invasive form of examining the coronary arteries directly. This test allows us to produce more accurate and high quality images of the coronary arteries, as well as the presence of calcified and “soft” plaques in the wall of the arteries. This in turn allows the doctors to assess the degree of risks the patient has of coronary artery disease.
The examination can suggest the presence of coronary artery disease even when the coronary arteries are less than 50% narrowed. Standard cardiac stress tests will not reliably detect this level of blockage, and more than half of all heart attacks occur with less than 50% narrowing.
The entire procedure time is about 15 to 25 minutes with calcium scoring of the coronary arteries done at the same time. Sometimes, oral medication (beta-blocker drug) is required if the patient has a high heart rate. The examination is performed on an outpatient basis and the patient is able to resume normal activities after the examination.