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HEALTHBEAT 4: Detecting coronary artery disease

(KTIV)- According to the Mayo Clinic, coronary artery disease develops when major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood, oxygen, and nutrients become damaged or diseased.

Symptoms can include chest pain and shortness of breath and even lead to a heart attack.

“What it allows us to do is get a good look at the structure of the whole heart, but especially the coronary vessels,” said Dr. Shannon Hoos-Thompson, Unity Point-Health St. Luke’s.

Dr. Shannon Hoos-Thompson says a new piece of technology at Unity Point-Health St. Luke’s is helping her take an inside look at her patient’s hearts.

It is called cardiac computed tomography.

“Where we can determine the anatomy of the coronary vessels as well as any abstraction or disease that’s there without doing something more invasive,” adds Dr. Hoos-Thompson.

This type of scan benefits patients who are at intermediate risk for coronary artery disease.

“That’s somebody that’s having active chest pain that’s consistent with a heart-type condition,” said Dr. Hoos-Thompson. “And also has risk factors like if they’re a smoker or have Hypertension diabetes.”

The scan is like a CT scan, but rather than taking a big picture of the body and heart it hones in on the coronary vessels.

“We can efficiently take a good look at these vessels rather than again, doing something more invasive,” said Dr. Hoos-Thompson. “And being very accurate and effective with our diagnosis, and then making decisions about other treatments and interventions.”

This type of technology has been around for at least 10 years, but it is fairly new to St. Luke’s.

Jennifer Lenzini

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