How safe is a GE Optima CT Heart Scan?

The radiation exposure of a GE Optima CT Heart Scan is low. Typical, less accurate CT or CAT scans can expose you to up to 20 times more radiation. With an GE Optima CT Heart Scan, there are no shots, no dyes to drink, no fasting and no medications to take. The GE Optima CT Heart Scan is an open structure, making it non-claustrophobic. Come in dressed as you normally would with NO PREP.

How quick is the GE Optima CT Heart Scan?

The entire scan takes only a few minutes. After your scan is complete, our radiologist will prepare a full report, pointing out any significant calcium buildup within the arteries. Your radiology report will determine whether further diagnostic testing is recommended.

Is it painful?

A GE Optima CT Heart Scan is non-invasive, meaning there are no shots, no dyes to drink, no fasting and no medications to take. The test is over in minutes. If you are claustrophobic, you will appreciate the open design of the chamber.

How much does a GE Optima CT Heart Scan cost?

A GE Optima CT Heart Scan with calcium scoring and radiologist interpretation normally costs $640. See price list.

Do I need a doctor’s order?

The GE Optima CT Heart Scan is a screening exam and therefore appointments can be made by anyone, or scheduled by a physician’s office. Walk-ins are also welcome. The scan usually takes less than 10 minutes, and there is no preparation necessary. It is so simple that it doesn’t even require you to remove any of your clothing as long as you don’t have any metal around your chest area (i.e., underwire bras, snap and zippers).

Who should take a GE Optima CT Heart Scan?

What factors put someone at risk for heart disease? Just as everyone in their late 40s and 50s should begin undergoing regular colon exams and mammograms, people over the age of 35 with specific cardiac risk factors should consider having a GE Optima CT Heart Scan performed on a regular schedule.

If you are between the ages of 40 and 70, and have any of the following, you are considered an optimal candidate for the GE Optima CT Heart Scan.

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High stress
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol, triglycerides
  • Tobacco usage, including prolonged exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Family history of heart disease

You do not have to be referred by a physician to take the test, although they often may recommend it. Many scanning patients are, in fact, self-referred. And the reason given most often for taking it?

To gain a peace of mind that cannot be measured in dollars.

What to expect during the GE Optima CT Heart Scan test?

This simple, non-surgical test requires no injections, dyes, fasting or other preparations – everything about the test has been designed with your comfort in mind. EKG electrodes will be placed on your chest. Lying on your back in the open scanning chamber, the CT quickly and painlessly scans your heart area. It takes images of your organs at a speed (1/20th of a second) that is much faster than other traditional CT or CAT scans. Because your organs, blood and fluids are in constant motion, only the fastest possible technology can capture an image clear enough for a doctor to determine what is happening inside you. The test takes only a few minutes to perform.

What does the GE Optima CT Heart Scan test reveal?

After the scan, you are given a score representing coronary calcification. First the score is compared to others of the same sex and age group. Doing this allows us to see how your heart health measures up to people in your age range.

Radiologists review the scoring and finalize the interpretation for a complete report. When a complete report is prepared, you may also wish to receive helpful advice on what therapy is most appropriate for you, if necessary.

Because the GE Optima CT Heart Scan creates such precise results, your primary care physician and/or cardiologist can use follow-up scans to monitor your progress over time.