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Leslowpuls37, May 18,  2019  9:06am EST

Cardiac ct with contrast vs. Echocardiogram

I'm not sure if I'm in the right place to ask this question, but I'm just gonna go for it 😊 any and all information is greatly appreciated.  What is the diffrence between a cardiac ct with contrast and a echocardiogram? Is one superior over the other? Are they both able to find the same things? I do know the ct exposes you to radiation, but other than that is there really a difference? 

3 Replies
  • shafiq48
    shafiq48, May 19,  2019  5:04pm EST

    According to my little knowledge the two tests are entirely different. In cardiac CT a die in injected intravenously in the blood stream and then imaging of heart is done by strong  X-rays. By this scan flow of die is pictured to see if the flow of blood in different parts of the heart is fine or there is some blockage in any vessel. This test is an alternative of Angiography. In Echo sound waves are used to scan the heart to see the size and function of heart chambers and valves as well as pumping of heart is checked which is measured as ejection ratio. 


  • grey_one
    grey_one, May 19,  2019  5:30pm EST

    I just had a calcium cardiac ct scan to see if there was placque build up. Put on the silly gown, have a couple of electrodes attached then lay down on table. Machine is about a foot thick and passes over the chest. Takes about five minutes. 

    Echo is also painless but is for analyzing heart function. Takes about 20 minutes. 

  • Bigsky
    Bigsky, July 1,  2020  10:44am EST


    The echo & cardiac are very different  

    In regards to Afib, the cardiac CT is done prior to ablation in order to obtain a 3D image of the left atrium for the purpose of identifying anatomical structures  such as the pulmonary veins. After an IV is started, contrast dye is injected and CatScan imaging is preformed. The dye fills the chambers and structures of the heart allowing for 3D images to be created. Other patients will have this done to score the calcium buildup in the coronary arties. 

    The echocardiogram is a non invasive trans thoracic ultrasound used to identify cardiac structures. The echo is great for checking heart valve anatomy, compliance and flow gradients across the calves. Echo's also show the heart muscle thickness and pumping effectiveness- the ejection fraction(%).


    Hooe this helps! Im less than a week away from my own crying-ablation. I'm ready to put an end to the afib. 

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