A CT scanner, also known as a CAT scan, is a type of medical imaging device that helps healthcare professionals detect problems in a person’s organs, bones, and other tissues using radiation. A low-dose CT scanner uses less radiation than a typical machine, so it's safer and easier for people to access preventative care.
Also known as a heart scan, a coronary calcium test is done using a CT scan to measure the level of calcified plaque present in the arteries. Before CT scans were available, it was almost impossible to detect arterial plaque without an invasive procedure. Now with the use of a CT scan, calcium will show up as specks of light that can be counted and measured without risky surgery.
CT findings in the heart may contribute additional information to findings in the lungs, or may point to an entirely separate disease process. In either case, they are likely to aid the referring physician in appropriately treating the patient. It therefore behooves the conscientious radiologist to evaluate the heart and be able to recognize the more common abnormalities encountered on a routine chest CT.