Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease among Americans, causing several health-related issues. When the coronary arteries narrow and harden, blood flow to the heart is blocked or restricted, which can lead to arrhythmias and heart failure. Plaque buildup and inflammation are usually the causes behind coronary artery disease. Completely blocked arteries can cause heart attacks.
The main symptoms of coronary artery disease include shortness of breath and chest pain (angina). But because the disease develops over time, people may not have or notice symptoms. If you are experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, call 911. If you have symptoms of heart disease, your doctor can run tests like an echocardiogram, cardiac catheterization and a CT scan to determine whether you have coronary artery disease.
The Sutter network now offers a new tool in conjunction with CT scans. The HeartFlow Scan Analysis uses your CT scan to create a 3D model of your heart. The model shows how each blockage affects blood flow to your heart. This detailed information, which was previously only available through an invasive procedure, helps your doctor determine the next step in your treatment plan. The scan analysis can also help reduce the need for follow-up testing and evaluation.