What is a Cardiac CT Scan in Singapore?

A Cardiac CT scan is a type of diagnostic test in Singapore that uses X-ray technology to produce images of your heart and the structures around it such as the blood vessels (aorta). Otherwise also known as a Heart CT scan in Singapore, this non-invasive test allows us to identify areas in the coronary arteries that may be filled with calcified plaque, a substance that can narrow the arteries and prevent blood flow to the heart.

Compared to a regular X-ray, a Cardiac CT is more detailed and can detect calcium buildup in the arteries (Coronary Calcium scan) or evaluate artery health (Coronary CT Angiogram).

When do you need to undergo a Cardiac CT scan in Singapore?

A cardiac CT scan is usually performed when a patient experiences abnormal symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain or numbness in the limbs. These symptoms can be caused by buildup of calcium deposits in the arteries, causing the blood vessels to spasm.

A heart CT scan can also evaluate the patient’s risk of a heart attack. A 3D heart scan allows your doctor to determine if you are experiencing heart disease and develop the best treatment plan for your symptoms.

Some conditions that may require a cardiac CT scan include:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Tumours
  • Blood clots
  • Chest pain
  • Heart valve problems

What happens during a Cardiac CT scan?

Before the procedure, an intravenous line is inserted into a vein in your arm for contrast dye to enter your body. You will feel a warm sensation as this is happening.

You will then have electrodes placed on your chest and wired to an electrocardiogram (heart rate and rhythm) monitor to check and record your heart activity. You are recommended to empty your bladder before the scan as the test takes up to 1 hour including preparation. However, the actual 3D heart scan should only take about 10 minutes.

The scan requires you to lie on a table that is connected to a machine. You will also periodically be asked to raise your arm above your head. A scanner will move back and forth and around you to create 3D images of your heart.

The radiologist will check the images before you can leave the room and the heart CT scan is complete.

Is a Cardiac CT scan uncomfortable or painful?

A 3D heart scan typically does not cause any pain. It is a minimally-invasive test that lasts for 30 to 60 minutes – though most of this time is spent getting ready for the test. The actual test in itself lasts for only a few minutes.

As the test does require you to lie on your back for an extended period of time, you may experience some restlessness at most; otherwise, a 3D heart scan should not cause any discomfort for most people. It is important to note that a heart CT scan requires you to have an intravenous line inserted.

Our doctor, Dr. Woo Jia Wei is internationally trained in cardiac CT and has performed several cardiac imaging procedures.

How to prepare for a Cardiac CT scan in Singapore?


  • Refrain from eating about 4 to 6 hours before.
  • Inform your doctor if you are pregnant as there may be risks with undergoing a cardiac CT scan due to radiation exposure.
  • Wear comfortable and loose clothing as you will change into a procedure gown.
  • Do not smoke for at least 3 hours before – this will likely increase your heart rate and potentially cause your test results to be inaccurate.
  • Similarly, please avoid caffeine or energy drinks.
  • If you are on metformin for diabetes, discontinue usage before the scan and 48 hours after the scan.

During the cardiac CT scan, you will rest on a bed inside a machine that will feel tight around your body. If you have a history of experiencing discomfort in closed spaces, inform your doctor prior and you may be given a mild sedative before the scan.

Patients with an allergy to iodine, kidney problems or who are undergoing radiotherapy treatment for cancer and other conditions may not be recommended to undergo a heart CT scan as there may be complications.

Please inform us if you have any medical condition(s) and our friendly team will assist.

What happens after a Cardiac CT scan?

After undergoing a 3D heart scan, you can be discharged immediately. It is recommended that you arrange for someone to pick you up after the procedure. It is also advised that you do not partake in any strenuous activities for the day.

You will receive your results of your cardiac CT scan in about a week. Based on your diagnosis, your doctor will tailor an appropriate treatment plan for you.

Contact us to take charge of your heart health today.

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We believe in providing affordable cardiovascular medical care for adults living in heartland areas. A specialist heart clinic accessible to all those living in the northern areas of Sembawang, Admiralty, Yishun, Woodlands and Canberra.

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