Lifewatch: CT scan

Reported by Claire Hosmann - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - Everyday 2,500 American die from heart disease.

Teresa Nunez has a family history of heart disease which puts here at a greater risk for having it herself.  She knew that when she began feeling chest pains she should have it checked out.

"Everybody's nervous about it, you don't know the problem is because you can't read the inside of your body," said Teresa.

A 3-D image of Teresa's heart could be seen through a cardiac CT scan.

"We have a lot of tests in medicine that tell us when heart disease is present but there is no test in medicine that is as good as cardiac CT in telling us if people do not have heart disease," said cardiologist Dr. Michael Turner.

Although Teresa's treadmill test came back negative, with her chest pain and risk factors for a cardiac episode, Dr. Turner had her undergo the cardiac CT scan before she was given a clean bill of health.

"It was for my peace of mind to make sure that everything's okay with my heart," said Teresa.

"A negative cardiac CT scan means that a person doesn't have heart disease 99% of the time," said Dr. Turner.

For Teresa, the news was good.  There was no sign of calcium or plaque formation in her arteries.

Cardiac CT scans are painless, but some people feel side effects from the contrast dye that's used during the scan.

New Hanover Regional Medical Center offers the cardiac CT scan at their facilities, to learn more click here.