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CT Coronary Angiography: Why Do I Need a 64-Slice CT Scanner?

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Using a 64-Slice CT scanner for coronary angiography has been a growing trend in hospitals in recent years. These scanners first entered the CT market in 2004 and have enjoyed increasing popularity across the US, especially in teaching hospitals. 

There are, of course, other pieces of equipment that can be used to get the same diagnosis, but 64-slice CT presents advantages over both of them in several areas. Read on to see why, if you intend to study hearts, a 64-slice CT scanner should be a leading contender for your next imaging purchase. 


64-Slice vs. Traditional Cardiac Catheterization1,2


  • A CT coronary angiogram is less invasive than cardiac catheterization, which requires the insertion of a catheter into the femoral or radial artery
  • CT angio can also diagnose much faster than cardiac cath (minutes vs. hours)
  • A CT angio scan costs less than a cardiac cath
  • A CT angio can rule out the need for catheterization


  • CT angio requires the use of radiation
  • Data is still inconclusive as to whether or not CT angio is 100% as accurate as traditional catheterization

64-Slice vs. 16-Slice


  • 64-slice scans are much faster
  • The higher speed of 64-slice reduces motion artifacts
  • 64-slice scans produce better image quality
  • Cardiac scans are reimbursed on 64-slice scanners, but not on 16-slice (NOTE: according to ACR, most US insurance carriers require 4D capability to receive reimbursement)


The Takeaway

While a 64-slice CT can't replace your facility's cath lab entirely, it can be an excellent compliment to it, saving time and unnecessary catheterization procedures for patients. Stacked up against 16-slice CT, there's no contest: the 64 does everything the 16 can, and better. On top of that, insurance providers will actually reimburse coronary angiography on a 64-slice CT. If a 64-slice CT is in your budget, there's great potential for it to shine in your cardiac studies.

If you have more questions about CTs, we'd love to help you learn about new 64-slice scanners, refurbished 64-slice scanners, service support, and replacement parts. Give us a call or contact us with a comment below.

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1. http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/28/6/w1122.full

2. http://www.bidmc.org/YourHealth/HealthNotes/MedicalImaging/TopStories/CardiacCTScanAnAlternativeToCatheterization.aspx