A report issued by 8 organizations, including the American College of Cardiology, states that CT scanning should be more widely used. Calcium scanning without the use of dye is now considered appropriate in patients who are at intermediate risk or low risk with a positive family history of heart disease. If the test is negative, the incidence of coronary artery disease is unlikely. CT angiography with dye is a much more expensive test that can replace catheterizations and angiograms in patients that are not at high risk. Both of these tests are safe to perform, but they do involve the radiation exposure equivalent to hundreds of chest x-rays.
See Family Practice News (click here), November 15, 2010, p. 34.