CT Scans at Children's Heart Institute

How is a CT Scan Different from an X-ray?

Chest x-rays aim a beam of energy at your child's heart or other body part that the doctor needs to study. A plate behind the body part captures the beam after it passes through skin, bone, muscle, and other tissue.

While doctors can obtain a large amount of data from an x-ray, it doesn't provide precise details about internal organs and other structures.

CT (computed tomography) scans move the x-ray beam in a circle around the body to get an image of your child's heart. A computer interprets the x-ray data and displays a two-dimensional image of your child's heart on a monitor.

This gives doctors many different, more detailed views of the heart.

What is a CT Scan With Contrast?

At the Heart Institute at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, we perform CT scans with or without contrast.

"Contrast" refers to a special dye that your child takes by mouth or through an IV line that allows doctors to see the heart or other organs more clearly.

Depending on the results of the CT scan, your child may need other tests or procedures to help diagnose his or her heart problem.

Make an Appointment for a CT Scan

To make an appointment or learn more about CT scans, contact the Heart Institute at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC at 412-692-5540.

Learn More About CT Scans

View our CT scan patient procedure sheet.