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Heart Screenings that Could Save Your Life

Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. This silent killer typically progresses slowly for many years. In fact, many men and women are not aware of their coronary artery disease until after they suffer a heart attack. If you are at risk for heart disease, it is important to evaluate the associated coronary arteries as early as possible, when it may be easier to treat. 

With the use of non-invasive cardiac imaging, such as the calcium scoring CT heart scans and 3D heart scans, heart disease can be found long before symptoms are present.  Northern Virginia residents have access to the most experienced site in the region for cardiac imaging - at Fairfax Radiology. Our cardiac imaging specialists, including physicians, technologists, and nurses have successfully performed and interpreted over 20,000 clinical exams. 

Led by Dr. Melany Atkins, Director of Cardiac Imaging at FRC, our team uses a state of the art, GE Revolution CT scanner. The 256 slice GE Revolution CT scanner provides uncompromised, high definition images of your heart, allowing our physician to view the blood flow through your heart while it pumps. This scanner reduces radiation exposure and delivers whole organ coverage to achieve one-beat, motion-free coronary imaging at any heart rate.  

What non-invasive tests can FRC perform with the GE Revolution CT Scanner? 

Screening: A calcium scoring CT heart scan is a quick and easy screening tool used to tell if there is hardening of the arteries of the heart making it an accurate predictor of the likelihood of a future heart attack. This is useful in guiding lifestyle changes and preventative care to reduce risk.  

Advanced Screening: A coronary computed tomography angiography provides a 3D image of the heart looking for narrowing of the coronary arteries and can show soft and calcified plaques even when narrowing is not present. Simply put, it uses sophisticated X-rays to help detect early coronary disease. Patients who do not show narrowing but reveal plaque are likely to require medication. We are the most experienced site in the region to offer this fast, noninvasive and diagnostic procedure using the latest technology to lower radiation dose. 

According to the American Heart Association, there are several warning signs and risk factors for heart disease: 

Warning Signs: If you are experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, or even fatigue, you could be experiencing heart disease.   

Major Risk Factors that can’t be changed include: Increasing age, male gender, and family history. 

Major Risk Factors that can be modified, treated or controlled include: tobacco smoke, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, obesity and diabetes mellitus.  

Other factors that contribute to heart disease include stress, alcohol use, poor diet and nutrition. 

If you have warning signs or risk factors of heart disease, discuss with your medical provider about how cardiac screenings can help save your life.  

At FRC, our imaging specialists meet the highest level of accreditation for coronary CT by the American College of Radiology and American College of Cardiology. We have Cardiac CT Screening exams available at three convenient locations.  

How to schedule a heart scan at FRC? 

You can schedule a heart scan appointment by contacting our Scheduling Department Monday through Friday from 8am to 5:30pm at 703.698.4488 or click here to make an appointment request online. You will need a written physician order from your primary care physician or cardiologist to schedule your heart scan appointment. For your convenience, morning, afternoon, evening and weekend appointments are available. 

We invite you to watch our Cardiac CT video to learn more.  

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