Women's Heart Advisor January 2009 Issue

CCTA May Help Rule Out Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography offers accurate views of arteries in the heart, but radiation demands judicious use.

Where is growing interest in coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) as a noninvasive, less-expensive alternative to invasive coronary angiography (moving X-rays taken during a cardiac catheterization). CCTA is also being marketed as a way to satisfy patientsí curiosity about the amount of plaque in their coronary arteries. Coronary catheterization and stress testing cannot provide the same kind of information about the extent of coronary disease. But like other tests that utilize radiation, CCTA is not risk-free. Studies have suggested the radiation delivered during CCTA increases the risk of developing breast or lung cancer. For this reason, Cleveland Clinic cardiologists feel CCTA should be used only when necessary and appropriate.

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