Cardiac CT Scan

The Prince Charles Hospital Medical Imaging department is renowned for its quality cardiothoracic imaging service, which includes cardiac computerised tomography (CT). In collaboration with the Heart Lung Institute, we use specialised imaging techniques to take comprehensive x-rays of the heart. These x-rays can be used to reproduce detailed 2D, 3D and functional images to assess the structure of the heart and how it beats, while still keeping radiation dose to a minimum. This can assist in the diagnosis of chest pain, shortness of breath and help assess known cardiac and vascular issues.

Our services

Cardiac CT examinations include:

  • Coronary calcium scoring
  • CT Coronary Angiogram (CTCA)

Full list of services

How to access this service

To access this service, your GP or medical practitioner will need to send a referral letter to the hospital.

If there is a waiting list, you will receive a confirmation letter and be advised on what to do next. If there is no waiting list, you will receive an appointment booking letter or we will contact you to arrange a suitable time for your appointment.

Refer a patient

How to prepare for your test

  • We will give you instructions on how to prepare for your scan. Please tell us if you are, or suspect you might be, pregnant or if you are breastfeeding.
  • Preparation requirements will depend upon the type of scan to be performed. Some preparations need to start 24 hours before the procedure.
  • It is important to check any CT preparation forms as soon as you receive them. Your scan can be delayed if you don’t complete all necessary preparation steps.

What to bring

Each time you visit us
  • Your Medicare card
  • Private health insurance card (if you have one)
  • Health Care Card and/or concession card (if you have one)
  • Current medications (prescription, over the counter and herbal medicine)
  • Relevant x-rays, scans or any other test results or reports
  • Glasses, hearing aids and mobility aids
  • your sleep equipment – machine and accessories (CPAP or bilevel)
For an outpatient or clinic appointment
  • Your appointment letter
  • Any special items listed on your letter
  • WorkCover claim number (if relevant)
  • Snacks, a drink or money to buy refreshments
  • Something to read or do while you wait

Frequently asked questions

It can take between 10 minutes and 2 hours depending on what part of the body is being scanned.

  • You may need to take medication provided by us when you arrive to control your heart rate for the scan, depending on what imaging is being performed.
  • You will be asked to lie still on a table. The radiographer will not be in the room during the scan, but they will be able to see you and communicate with you at all times.
  • During the scan, you will hear a whirring or humming noise (like a noisy washing machine) and you will feel the table move through the CT scanner. You should remain as still as possible, as the slightest movement can blur the pictures.
  • For some scans, you will be asked to hold your breath for a short period.

You will sometimes be given contrast as part of your CT scan.

  • Contrast allows your heart and vessels to be seen more clearly on x-rays.
  • If required, contrast will be given as an injection (Iodinated contrast).
  • A fine needle (IV cannula) will be put into a vein in your arm, making it possible to inject intravenous contrast.
  • For more information on iodinated contrast and the risks involved in its use, please read the Iodinated Contrast Patient Information Sheet.

You can eat and drink normally after your CT scan is finished. We may need to observe your heart rate and blood pressure for a short period after your scan.

Your CT scan results will be sent to your doctor.

The amount of radiation you will receive will be dependent upon the specific examination your doctor has requested for you. If you have any concerns regarding this examination, you should discuss it further with your doctor as the benefits should outweigh the risks to you.

Contact us

Location: Ground floor, Main Building, The Prince Charles Hospital
Phone: (07) 3139 6664 (appointments)
Fax: (07) 3139 4253 or
(07) 3139 4807
Open: Monday-Friday 8.00am-5.00pm

Emergency Imaging Department
Location: Ground floor, The Prince Charles Hospital
Phone: (07) 3139 6431
Open: 24/7

Need help outside hours?

For out of hours support call The Prince Charles Hospital on (07) 3139 4000.

For non-urgent medical issues call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or visit your GP.

In an emergency call 000.

Refer a patient

To refer a patient to this service, view the medical imaging request form for The Prince Charles Hospital and CTCA screening form or call the Medical Imaging department on (07) 3139 6664 or fax (07) 3139 4253.

Health professionals

Cardiac CT examinations include:

  • Coronary calcium scoring
  • CT Coronary Angiogram (CTCA)

Please note: Patients in atrial fibrillation (AF) or with a contraindication to beta blockage (for example active asthma or aortic stenosis) may be unsuitable for CTCA and will require discussion with the radiologist on duty.

  • Coronary bypass graft patency assessment
  • CT perfusion and functional studies for left and right ventricles.
  • Left atrial mapping
  • Coronary sinus mapping
  • TAVI pre-operative CT workup
  • ECG gated aortogram for assessment, follow up and preoperative planning
  • Cardiac CT for anatomy assessment, for example atrial septal defects (ASD) sizing.
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