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At other times, a patient may be asked to swallow a liquid contrast material.
In patients at high risk for developing coronary disease (cigarette smokers, those with genetic risk, high cholesterol levels, hypertension, or diabetes), who have unclear results with treadmill or other testing, or who have symptoms suspicious of coronary disease, CT angiography is an excellent next step in the diagnosis.
The only way to directly look at the coronary arteries was via a cardiac catheterization and coronary angiogram.
CT scans have been used to look at various anatomic regions, but have not been useful for the heart because the heart is continuously in motion.
CT is very effective in looking at "static" areas, such as the brain, abdominal cavity, and extremities.
Most early CT scanners take 1-8 pictures (slices) a minute, much slower than the rate of the heart.
A new test is available to diagnose coronary artery disease.