Electron-Beam Computed Tomography

Electron-Beam Computed Tomography

(EBCT; Ultrafast CT)

Definition

Electron-beam computed tomography (EBCT) is a fast test to look for calcium build-up in the heart's arteries. It uses an electron gun to scan the chest.

Varying Degrees of Atherosclerosis in Coronary Arteries

Stereostatic Biopsy
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Reasons for Test

EBCT may be used to screen people for coronary artery disease (CAD). It can help assess the risk of having a heart attack in the future.

Coronary Artery Bypass Graft

Nucleus image
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen.

An EBCT uses radiation. It may not be advised for people with certain conditions such as pregnancy.

What to Expect

Prior to Test

Right before the test, you will be asked to remove any metal objects. This may include jewelry, hearing aids, or dentures.

Description of Test

You will lie down on a padded table under an arch shaped scanner. The scanner will move over your body and take pictures. You will hear humming and clicking. The technician will ask you to hold your breath at times. This will help get a clear picture. You will be able to talk to the technician..

After Test

You will be able to leave after the test is done.

How Long Will It Take?

About 10 to 15 minutes

Will It Hurt?

The scan should not normally hurt. Some may find it uncomfortable to stay still during the scan.

Results

The EBCT software measures the calcium deposits in the arteries. This is called the calcification score. The doctor will receive the results and discuss them with you.

Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor if you have any questions about the test, your condition, or your test results.

If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

RESOURCES:

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov
Radiology Info—Radiologic Society of North America
https://www.radiologyinfo.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery
https://vascular.ca
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
http://www.heartandstroke.ca

References:

Cardiac CT for calcium scoring. Radiology Info—Radiological Society of North America website. Available at: https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info/ct_calscoring. Accessed September 1, 2021.
Coronary artery disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/coronary-artery-disease-cad. Accessed September 1, 2021.
Coronary calcium scan. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/coronary-calcium-scan. Accessed September 1, 2021.
Miller TD, Rodriguez-Porcel M. Your coronary calcium scan is positive: now what? JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2016;9(5):590-2.
Ultrafast CT scan. University of Rochester Medical Center website. Available at: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=92&contentid=p07987. Accessed September 1, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Nicole Meregian, PA
Last Updated: 9/1/2021

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at healthlibrarysupport@ebsco.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.

Home |Terms and Conditions |Concerned About Privacy? |Accessibility |Careers |For Employers and Medical Plan Providers

You may also be looking for: CVS/pharmacy | MinuteClinic | Specialty Pharmacy | SilverScript | Accordant