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By: Dr.Mason Weiss
Cardiology is the discipline that researches, diagnoses and treats heart injuries and diseases as well as their causes. A cardiologist will treat a heart problem while staying aware of other conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and other factors that risk damaging the heart. Some of these health factors include a family history of heart disease, obesity, cigarette smoking, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle. Timely evaluation and early diagnosis of individuals at risk for complex cardiac problems are extremely important in cardiology. In Los Angeles specialized Cardiologist focus on preventing, detecting and treating heart disease. After clarifying a disorders nature, extent and cause, he develops an individualized treatment plan. It’s the focus of Los Angeles Cardiologist to help each patient manage all facets of their condition, with recovery as the ultimate goal.

Proper therapy begins with an accurate diagnosis. In order to accurately diagnose critical acute and chronic cardiac illnesses like adult congenital heart disease, cardiac arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, vascular disease, valvular heart disease, cardiomyopathy, and others, cardiologists apply various diagnostic test procedures and technology including stress tests, echocardiography, electrocardiography, nuclear cardiology, cardiac catherization and others. One of the techniques that has gained popularity in recent times is the Heart Scan. The heart scan is appropriate for men and women, 35 years or older, with any risk factor like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, history of tobacco use, family history of heart disease, overweight or obese or with significant emotional or job related stress. A heart scan doesn’t determine whether a person is going to have a heart attack. Instead, it detects calcified plaque in the arteries of the heart. Calcified plaque is an indicator of heart disease. The CT Heart Scan is a painless test that takes about 10 minutes. The process is similar to taking an x-ray of the body. An individual lies on the scanner table and multiple images of the heart are taken. Then a computer creates separate images of the body area, called slices. These images can be stored, viewed on a monitor or printed on film. A qualified physician then interprets these images to determine the amount of calcified plaque in the arteries. A CT Heart Scan is called a CT Angiography if it is done to look at the arteries that bring blood to the heart.

The introduction of the 64 Slice CT Scan allows nearly all patients to be scanned with very high resolution. Scan times are now of the order of several seconds (usually 5-13 seconds). This means that even patients with severe pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure can hold their breath for the required length of time. Furthermore, the higher number of slices means higher resolution. Such high resolution allows the visualization of the entire coronary tree with extremely high accuracy and detail. Individual atheromatous plaques can be detected and characterized. Calcification can be visualized and used as an added variable in disease management.

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