Electron Beam Computed Tomography
Electron Beam Computed Tomography (EBCT), also referred to as an "ultrafast
CT," is a type of high-speed CT scan designed to detect plaque in
the coronary arteries. Doctors at the Center for Heart and Vascular Wellness
and Prevention at St. Joseph Hospital use EBCT heart scans to determine
if a patient is at risk for a future heart attack.
EBCT is painless and takes approximately 10 minutes. During the scan, the
patient lies on a scanner table while an electron beam sweeps from behind
the heart at an extremely high speed, literally freezing images of the
moving heart. The detection of calcium deposits using EBCT is fast and
accurate while radiation exposure to the body is very low.
It is important to detect coronary calcium or plaque as early as possible
so medical treatment can be started to prevent advanced disease that may
lead to a heart attack or the need for coronary bypass surgery. With early
detection of calcified plaque, patients can modify their risk factors
to reduce – and sometimes eliminate - their chance of a developing
advanced heart disease.
The latest clinical research shows that coronary calcium detected by EBCT
can predict a person's risk for heart attack more so than traditional
risk factors. This holds true for both men and women.
To schedule an EBCT heart scan, call 1-855-BUTKUSD.