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Boston Heart Scan

Using Ultrafast CT (also known as Electron Beam CT), the HeartScan Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center provides a 15-minute, non-invasive evaluation of your current risk for heart disease. Ultrafast CT can detect the early stages of calcification in the coronary arteries, and early detection of calcification can reduce the risk of heart attacks later.

Why use Ultrafast CT to detect heart disease?

Ultrafast CT is a non-invasive, quick, and painless method of taking pictures of the coronary arteries. The procedure has greater than 95% accuracy for detecting coronary artery calcification which may indicate the presence of coronary artery disease, the number one cause of death in the U.S. Premature coronary artery calcification (i.e., in people below the age of 60) predicts an increased risk of having a coronary artery event or heart attack.

Calcification is caused by fatty deposits in the wall of the arteries (known as atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries). Ultrafast CT can show calcification in the coronary arteries even in people without symptoms. Early detection of calcification may improve the chances of reversing or halting the progression of coronary artery disease.

In 1996, the American Heart Association released a Scientific Statement for health professionals reporting that only Ultrafast CT can accurately measure the amount or volume of calcium in the coronary arteries.