In contrast to the cardiac catheter examination, the 64-slice CT enables the coronary arteries to be displayed with contrast agent without puncturing an artery. Only a vein need be punctured, e.g. as when taking a blood sample. The risks of the cardiac catheter examination are thus almost completely excluded.
The new technologies enable the exposure to radiation to be reduced in areas which correspond to those of a cardiac catheter examination. The ASIR technology which has been available since January 2011 allowed the radiation exposure on our equipment of the latest generation to be reduced by another 40 % without any change in the image quality.
A restriction here is seen in the resting pulse rate of over 65/min, an irregular pulse or serious atherosclerosis.
The cardiac CT is preferred to the cardiac catheter examination when the possibility of a coronary heart disease is to be definitively excluded in the event of contradictory findings.
If, on the other hand, a narrowing is suspected in a coronary artery, the cardiac catheter examination offers advantages, in particular the opportunity of immediate intervention, such as balloon expansion and stent delivery.
The coronary artery calcification score can be determined with a very low exposure to radiation and is used to make a better assessment of the risk of a heart attack in the next 10 years.