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.

How Long Does CT-FFR Take?

After a CTA scan, which typically takes about 10 minutes, providers with expertise in advanced imaging apply CT-FFR analysis to the results. Results from CT-FFR are typically available in 24 to 48 hours.

What Is Plaque Analysis?

Plaque analysis allows your care team to give you an accurate assessment of your risk of coronary artery disease, as well as a personalized treatment plan. Gathering data on the placement and type of plaque helps your physicians get a comprehensive understanding of your heart and arteries, which they use to provide precise care.

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

Read More

It would have been a surprise heart attack, but new imaging technology revealed a hidden danger

The CT-FFR stands out in stories like Tony Seadler’s because of its ability to find something other tests can miss. In Tony’s case, it immediately showed a blockage in his circumflex coronary artery.

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, more than 137,000 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 adult-service hospitals in Louisville all have received Chest Pain Center accreditation from the American College of Cardiology (ACC). This is the seventh consecutive accreditation for all four hospitals, which ensures quality for the treatment of heart attack.
  • Norton Audubon Hospital, Norton Brownsboro Hospital and Norton Hospital all are recognized as having ACC Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI accreditation.
  • Norton Healthcare has the most facilities across the city of Louisville with the ability treat a life-threatening heart attack.
  • You have access to more than 100 physicians and advanced practice providers with specialized training and experience in a comprehensive range of conditions and treatments.
  • Patients can make appointments at 28 locations in Louisville and Southern Indiana. Telecardiology is offered at more than 30 sites in the region.
  • 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.
  • U.S. News & World Report 2023-24 Best Hospitals ranked Norton Healthcare’s adult-service hospitals in Louisville as high performing in heart attack, heart failure, aortic valve surgery and heart bypass surgery.
  • Norton Audubon Hospital earned ventricular assist device (VAD) accreditation from DNV – Healthcare and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
  • Communicate with your health care provider, renew prescriptions, get lab results and more through your free Norton MyChart account.

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