Electron-Beam Computed Tomography

Electron-beam computed tomography (EBCT) is a fast and sensitive test for detecting calcium build-up in the arteries of the heart. It uses an electron gun instead of regular x-rays to scan the chest. The amount of calcium build-up in the arteries will give your doctor an idea of whether a condition known as atherosclerosis has developed. This condition can lead to narrowing of the arteries, heart attack, stroke, and other serious conditions.

  • Call Your Doctor

    Call your doctor if you have any questions about the test, your condition, or your test results.

    If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition


    Electron-beam computed tomography (EBCT) is a fast and sensitive test for detecting calcium build-up in the arteries of the heart. It uses an electron gun instead of regular
    x-rays
    to scan the chest.


    The amount of calcium build-up in the arteries will give your doctor an idea of whether a condition known as
    atherosclerosis
    has developed. This condition can lead to narrowing of the arteries,
    heart attack,
    stroke, and other serious conditions.

    Varying Degrees of Atherosclerosis in Coronary Arteries
    Stereostatic Biopsy
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Test


    EBCT may be used to screen

    people for
    coronary heart disease
    (CHD). It can be used before
    or after symptoms actually appear.

    This test may be most useful for people at moderate risk for heart attacks.

    This is important because, for many people, the first sign of CHD is a heart attack.

    Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
    Nucleus image
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Possible Complications

    An EBCT is considered a low risk procedure and uses very low amounts of radiation. Despite this, women should let their doctor know if they are pregnant.

    Some may also have an allergic reaction to dyes or contrast material used to enhance the images. Let your doctor know about any allergies you may have.