Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Can Everybody Go For A Heart Scan Now?

Blocking of arteries in hearts can lead to heart disease. In the worst scenario, it may even cause fatal heart attack that could lead to death. Hence, when patient’s heart shows some sorts of unhealthy signs, his or her doctor will...

Blocking of arteries in hearts can lead to heart disease. In the worst scenario, it may even cause fatal heart attack that could lead to death. Hence, when patient’s heart shows some sorts of unhealthy signs, his or her doctor will usually recommend or ask the patient to go for a heart scan to see if the arteries are blocked before the doctor can decide what action to take on the patient.

In the past, patients who needed a heart scan would have to take a drug to slow down their heartbeat to 65 beats per minute so that a clear image could be produced using a conventional computed tomography (CT) machine. Hence, the patients would be required to take the drug known as beta-blockers and wait for an hour for it to take effect.

Unfortunately, not all patients can take beta-blockers. For instance, it is not suitable for asthmatics and those who have chronic bronchitis. Hence this group of patients cannot be scanned by CT machine. Instead, they will have to rely only on other tests such as electrocardiogram (ECG) to gauge if they had blocked arteries.

The good news is that there is a new scanner available now that is capable of yielding clear images of a patient’s heart, no matter how furiously it is pounding. In other words, heart patients will no longer need to take medication before scanning their hearts. The new scanner can also perform with 50 to 70 percent less radiation than a conventional CT scanner.

The new machine is called the dual-source CT scanner. It can do away with the drug because it has two X-ray sources and two detectors, in contrast with the conventional machines that have only one X-ray source and one detector. It can, therefore, complete a scan in 83 milliseconds, twice as fast as other machines. Shorter duration of scan also means that less radiation is produced.

For doctors who need to perform angiography and angioplasty, there is also a new imaging system available that is capable of producing clearer images with lower doses of radiation. During angiography, diagnostic pictures of the heart vessels are taken while in angioplasty, stents are placed inside blocked vessels to open them up and help blood flow.

It is reported that the new system can produce images so quickly that only one contrast injection will be used for procedures that normally need three.

America's Most Trusted Doctor Reveals ... How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease - Without Drugs or Surgery. Read more about his confession at: http://www.howtopreventheartdisease.com/heart-disease-prevention-dr-robert-article.html

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