Medical imaging tests are used to both diagnose heart disease and monitor
its progression. Your cardiologist may recommend imaging tests to determine
what part of your heart is damaged, to evaluate how well your current
treatment plan is working, and to see if your condition is getting worse.
There are a number of different imaging tests that can be used in the
diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, from
X-rays to MRI scans in San Antonio. Here are some of the medical imaging exams you might undergo in your
treatment for heart disease.
A chest X-ray is a painless test that uses a small amount of radiation
to create an image of the organs and bones in your chest cavity, including
your heart. Your doctor may order a chest X-ray if he or she suspects
you have congenital heart disease, an enlarged heart, or blood vessel
problems. A chest X-ray can also be used to identify calcium and plaque
buildup in your blood vessels and heart that can increase your risk of
having a heart attack. If you have a pacemaker or other heart device,
then your doctor may also order an X-ray to make sure it is in the right place.
Cardiac CT Scan
A CT scan—or computed tomography—is used to create a 3D image
of your heart. It is primarily used to find or monitor the presence of
calcium deposits within plaque in the heart and arteries. It allows your
doctor to diagnose atherosclerosis, which is a major risk factor for heart
disease, before any symptoms begin, so that you can begin treatment early.
CT scans can also be used to see if calcium deposits are increasing or
if they are being adequately controlled by your current treatment plan.
The test is painless, except for minor discomfort some patients experience
when they receive an injection of contrast dye before the test.
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, tests use a magnetic field and radio
waves to create a detailed image of the structures of the heart. They
can be used to determine how well the different components of the heart
are functioning and to monitor the progression of heart disease. They
can also be used to see if the treatments being used for your heart disease