CT-FFR HeartFlow Noninvasive Coronary Artery Disease Test

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What is CT-FFR?

A computed tomography–fractional flow reserve (CT-FFR) test is a noninvasive method for evaluating blood flow through vessels affected by coronary artery disease. Using a cardiac computer tomography angiography (CTA) scan, advanced technology creates a 3D image that shows the extent of blood flow restriction through any potential blockages.

Coronary artery disease is caused by plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. The plaque, made up of cholesterol and other substances, causes the inside of the arteries to narrow and possibly block blood flow to the heart. Coronary artery disease can lead to a heart attack.

Identifying those blockages and their severity is a key part of deciding whether your coronary artery disease can be managed with medication, a minimally invasive procedure or heart surgery.

Norton Heart & Vascular Institute was the first in Louisville to offer CT-FFR as an option for advanced imaging analysis. Advanced imaging equipment at all four of Norton Healthcare’s adult-service hospitals in Louisville allows for the highest level of cardiac imaging available.

CT-FFR is new technology that analyzes a cardiac CTA scan to produce highly accurate, 3D images showing where blockages are located and how much they are restricting blood flow.

Norton Heart & Vascular Institute was the first in Louisville to offer this advanced imaging analysis to patients. Norton Heart & Vascular Institute has been using CT-FFR clinically since April 2020 and has been involved in research studies of CT-FFR. Norton Heart & Vascular Institute participated in the PRECISE trial and currently is participating in the RevealPlaque Trial. This experience has given the team expertise in this advanced technology.

The detail provided by CT-FFR previously was available only from a cardiac catheterization or a coronary angiogram. Angiograms are still the right option for many patients, but CT-FFR using HeartFlow technology allows many patients to have accurate imaging without an invasive procedure.

How It Works

Using your cardiac CTA scan, the HeartFlow technology creates a personalized digital 3D model of your coronary arteries. The HeartFlow analysis calculates how much each blockage limits your blood flow.

  • A coronary CTA scan is taken, and if more information is needed, your cardiologist may use the images to perform a HeartFlow analysis. You won’t need a new appointment or need to take any steps.
  • The HeartFlow technology will use the CT scan to create a digital 3D model of your coronary arteries and use the fundamentals of fluid dynamics to calculate how much each blockage limits your blood flow.
  • Your cardiologist will receive a color-coded 3D image of your coronary arteries to help determine the next step in your treatment plan.

Most major insurers, including Medicare, cover the HeartFlow analysis.

Heart and Vascular Care for the Whole Person

Norton Heart & Vascular Institute offers patient resources to support you and your family, including free classes for people of all ages who are seeking to improve cardiovascular health or living with a heart condition.

Cardiac Rehabilitation Program

Our cardiac rehabilitation providers are leaders in developing and applying innovative techniques that can help you recover and resume your life.

Connecting Hearts Support Group

The group provides education and support to individuals who have had a heart attack, are living with a heart condition or are at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Heart Health Screenings

Prevention is the best way to manage heart disease, and screenings are available to detect early signs of cardiac and vascular disease and identify risk factors.

About Norton Heart & Vascular Institute

Every year, about 250,000 people in Louisville and Southern Indiana choose Norton Heart & Vascular Institute specialists for their heart and vascular care. That’s more than any other health care provider.

  • Norton Healthcare’s four adult-service hospitals in Louisville are American College of Cardiology accredited Cycle VI Chest Pain Centers — the highest level of expertise to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing a heart attack.
  • You have access to more than 50 board-certified cardiovascular physicians and 35 advanced practice providers with specialized training and experience in a comprehensive range of conditions and treatments.
  • Patients can make appointments at 27 locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana. Telecardiology is offered at more than 30 sites in the region.
  • The American Heart Association awarded its Mission: Lifeline STEMI Receiving Center Gold Plus award to Norton Audubon Hospital. This award is granted when certain criteria and data are met for the care of STEMI patients, those with the most severe type of heart attack.
  • Norton Audubon Hospital, a key location for Norton Heart & Vascular Institute services, has been recognized with a HeartCare Center National Distinction of Excellence year after year by the American College of Cardiology. This is the only hospital in Louisville to be recognized for this distinction.
  • Norton Healthcare is the only health care system in Kentucky to receive the prestigious Mission: Lifeline Regional Trailblazer Award from the American Heart Association for being an innovator in creating a system of care for the most severe type of heart attacks.
  • Communicate with your health care provider, renew prescriptions, get lab results and more through your free MyNortonChart account.

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