Health Articles - Heart Disease



Revolutionary technology is transforming the way cardiac and vascular disease is detected. Computerized Tomography (CT) has reached a new pinnacle in the scanning realm. Visalia Imaging has the 64-Slice CT Scanner, which captures precise, motion-free images of the heart and coronary arteries to identify narrowing by plaque buildup. The astounding aspect of this machine is that it provides a greater detailed analysis of very complex anatomy. The ability to diagnose heart disease is notably dramatic and represents a tremendous community asset of which we all can be proud. Our community is able to benefit from these advances and secure future health that was once only a dream.

The initial screening tool, coronary artery calcium scoring, is accomplished in less than one minute with no preparation required; the patient's exposure to irradiation is minimized. The score is very effective at estimating an individual's risk for a major cardiac event. Indicators for obtaining the scoring test:

  1. smoking history, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes

  2. family history of heart disease

  3. occasional chest pains, but no other factors

  4. men ages 45+ and women age 55+

The target score is 0. Heart disease is beginning in scores >0 and those over 100 should consider the secondary diagnostic study, Coronary CT Angiogram. This test is quick and requires an injection of contrast. It will show if both hard (calcified) and soft (non-calcified) plaque are present and will direct if further intervention is needed.

Visalia Imaging provides a lengthy list of diagnostic studies; frequently, an exam can be done on the same day it is called in. The professionalism, experience, and focus needed for today's dynamic imaging world is a solid component at this center.