The Center for Heart and Vascular Wellness and Prevention

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.