Opening Hours : Mon - Fri - 9am to 5pm
  Contact : 03 9592 2177

Coronary CT Angiography

treatment for coronary heart disease

State-Of-The-Art CT Scan For Your Heart - Melbourne

Get Ahead of Heart Disease with High-Quality CT Scanners in Melbourne

Melbourne Heart Care uses the latest in technology and medical advancements for imaging. When we take a CT scan of your heart in Melbourne, we use the imaging for early detection of potential heart attacks and to diagnose, assess and manage coronary artery disease as well as other heart health issues.
coronary artery disease treatment
CT scans for your heart at Melbourne Heart Care guide the diagnosis, management and treatment of heart diseases and can predict the risk of a heart attack.

What are cardiac CT Scans?

You may have heard the terms CT Coronary Angiography, CTCA or CT Coronary Angiogram. These terms are all used interchangeably to describe the Computed Tomography (CT) scan of your heart.

A Cardiac CT is more sensitive than a conventional X-ray, allowing doctors to detect more subtle changes in the heart’s structure and function. Using the Aquilion One Genesis for CT imaging, we create a three-dimensional picture that provides a highly detailed look at your heart for accurate diagnosis and management.

This highly detailed imaging allows early detection of cardiovascular disease that could potentially lead to a heart attack or other significant cardiac issues. The expert team at Melbourne Heart Care uses those results to tailor treatment to manage and prevent further cardiac damage.

Why do people need CT scans of their hearts?

There are many reasons your doctor or cardiologist may order a Computed Tomography (CT) of your heart and coronary arteries:

  • A strong family history of cardiac issues and intermediate risk factors.
  • A history of chest pain, shortness of breath or exercise intolerance.
  • For diagnosing coronary artery disease if symptomatic for CAD or other risk factors such as high blood pressure.
  • Early detection of issues with coronary arteries which may potentially lead to a heart attack in the future.
  • If you have had a stress test where the results indicate there may be an issue with your heart or coronary arteries.
  • To provide insight into your heart health and coronary arteries without having to conduct an invasive test such as a coronary angiogram.
  • As part of a pre-surgery work-up.
coronary ct scan
Canon Medical introduces a revolutionary approach to CT reconstruction that leverages Deep Learning Neural Networks specifically trained to perform one task – reconstruct images that are sharp, clear, and distinct.

Cardiac CT for Coronary Heart Disease treatment in Melbourne

Cardiac CTs are very good for diagnosing Coronary Heart Disease/Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and detecting blockages in the coronary arteries (blood vessels) that supply blood to the heart muscle. The scans can identify the extent of damage to the heart muscle, and the degree of blockages and blood flow in your coronary arteries to guide appropriate treatment, whether this is further tests, a procedure or medication.

Early detection of heart disease can catch potential heart attacks.

The Aquilion ONE GENESIS allows our cardiologists to measure your calcium score. This shows us how much calcium and hardening, or calcium-containing plaque, is in the walls of your coronary arteries, allowing us to estimate your risk of a heart attack or stroke. A CT calcium score is often recommended for asymptomatic patients, who have an intermediate to high risk of cardiovascular events (heart attack).

This enables lifesaving early intervention and management of a potential heart attack before any symptoms are evident. Using medications, risk management and lifestyle changes we aim to prevent any significant cardiac events from happening.

Why Melbourne Heart Care uses the revolutionary Aquilion ONE GENESIS for CT coronary angiogram scans

At Melbourne Heart Care, we are committed to early identification and risk management for our patients to help prevent life-threatening heart issues in the future. The Aquilion ONE GENESIS uses cutting-edge technology to provide clear and precise imaging of your heart. We have a strong legacy with the Aquilion CT machines at Monash Heart and Victoria Heart Hospital. This state-of-the-art technology helps guide and optimise diagnoses and management of cardiac issues and chest pain, and identify at-risk asymptomatic patients.

Stand-out features:

  • 16cm wide area detector captures high-quality images of the whole heart in one fast rotation.
  • 640 slice volume detector gives clear pictures with a high level of detail.
  • Dynamic functional imaging provides valuable insights to optimise cardiac disease treatment.
  • Optimised X-Ray spectrum for a patient-specific beam for more homogenous distribution.

Patient benefits:

Compared to other CT machines, the Aquilion ONE GENESIS has:

  • A wider gantry opening at 78cm with a large table for patient comfort.
  • Lower radiation dose.
  • A quicker set-up and scan time.

How is the cardiac CT performed?

A CT coronary angiogram is a simple procedure. Your doctor will provide instructions prior to your scan, such as if you need to stop or start certain medications, and avoid caffeine or energy drinks the evening before and the morning of your scan. You will also need to fast for 2 hours.

Melbourne Heart Care uses cutting-edge technology, the Aquilion ONE GENESIS, for fast, accurate CT images.

On the day you can expect:

  • A cannula will be inserted into a vein for a contrast injection (dye).
  • If your heart rate is above 65 beats per minute we may need to give you some medication, either orally or through the cannula, to slow your heart rate down. This is so the CT scanner is able to get the clearest pictures possible.
  • You will be asked to lie on the CT scanning table and stay as still as possible for the duration of the scan as movement can blur the images.
  • We may also ask you to take a breath in and hold it at different stages of the scan.
  • After the contrast injection is given you may feel hot, flushed or experience a metallic taste. These are common reactions to the contrast dye.

We advise that you have someone to drive you home after your scan as the beta-blocker medication can sometimes lower your blood pressure and may cause light-headedness.

What is the cost of having a CT scan for your heart at Melbourne Heart Care?

A CT coronary angiography is covered by Medicare when organised by one of our cardiologists at Melbourne Heart Care. However, a CT calcium score will incur a fee as there is currently no Medicare rebate or bulk bill protocol for this test.

Why choose Melbourne Heart Care?

Here at Melbourne Heart Care, we are committed to providing high-quality, professional cardiac care for all our patients. We use cutting-edge technology to assist in accurate and timely diagnosis, backed by our experience and knowledge of cardiac disease and intervention.

Contact Us

Please don’t hesitate to contact Melbourne Heart Care’s dedicated team to manage your cardiology care or that of your patients. Appointments can be made by contacting the practice via phone. Referrals can be sent via Argus, Email or Fax.
  • Phone: 03 9592 2177
  • Fax: 03 9592 3177
  • Postal Address: Suite 16, 3 Male Street, Brighton 3186

Where to find us

We provide consultations and a comprehensive range of tests and treatments at our modern facilities, private hospitals or a public hospital near you.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can find answers to common questions about cardiac CTs and calcium scoring below.
A study by John Hopkins researchers found that a CT coronary angiogram has a 91% accuracy in detecting blockages and calcified plaque in blood vessels (coronary artery). This shows that cardiac CTs are a great diagnostic tool for any patient with symptoms who we suspect has plaque buildup in their heart arteries.
Here at Melbourne Heart Care, we use CT calcium scoring as a screening test to predict the risk of a heart attack in our patients. If someone has had a positive stress echocardiogram or other symptoms that they have blockages in their heart arteries we may recommend a CT calcium score to provide more insights into your heart and coronary arteries.
Yes, a CT can detect if your heart has inflammation. We can use cardiac CTs to diagnose illnesses such as myocarditis or pericarditis, which are inflammation of different areas of your heart.
Your doctor or cardiologist will refer you for a coronary CT if you have had an inconclusive stress echocardiogram, or chest pain, have a strong family history of heart conditions with or without symptoms, or as part of a work-up for surgery.
Any patient who our cardiology team believes is highly likely to have blockages in the arteries of their heart is usually recommended to have a coronary angiogram, rather than a CT. A Computed Tomography (CT) with contrast is also contraindicated in patients with significant renal (kidney) impairment or has anaphylaxis to the contrast.
Although the dose of radiation is very low, caution should still be used if you are pregnant. Please discuss this with your doctor or cardiologist prior to the scan.
At Melbourne Heart Care, we use the latest in technology, the Aquilion ONE GENESIS. This cutting-edge CT scanner provides clear, accurate imaging in less time than older models and is designed for patient comfort with a lower radiation dose and wider scanning table.
You will be provided with pre-procedure advice that we ask you to follow carefully to ensure a successful and accurate scan of your heart. To prepare you should avoid caffeine, energy drinks, tea or coffee for 24 hours before your scan. In addition, we may prescribe a beta-blocker medication to slow your heart rate.
The preparation for a CT calcium score is the same as a regular scan of your heart, however, there is no contrast injection (dye) needed for this particular scan.
This CT calcium score scan is only about 10 to 15 minutes, however, please allow 1 to 2 hours for the entire process. If combined with a scan of your heart with contrast the procedure length will be longer again.
There is a small risk of an allergic reaction to the contrast injection and some people may experience lower blood pressure if the beta-blocker is needed to slow their heart rate down. Any risks will be discussed in-depth prior to your scan. There is a very low dose of radiation during the scan, so if you are pregnant please discuss this with your cardiologist prior to the scan.
You will need to bring to your appointment for your CT your Medicare Card, a referral from your doctor or cardiologist, healthcare card, pension card or student card and any relevant past scans or X-ray results.
You may be given an injection of contrast through the cannula in a vein of your arm during this test. This helps create pictures of the blood flow and cardiac structures during Computed Tomography (CT). You will not need this injection if you’re only doing a calcium-scoring test.
If you have an allergy to contrast or severe kidney issues, we may be able to perform the CT without dye. However, we may not have as accurate results or as clear images. Your doctor will assess the need for contrast or non-contrast CT and will order the appropriate test for you. You can also undertake a calcium-scoring test that doesn’t require dye.