Harvard Heart Letter

Reception still fuzzy for fast CT scans of the heart

As technology for seeing into the heart improves, how the machines will be used is still up in the air.

Machines that peer into the body, such as the familiar x-ray and the alphabet soup of CT, MRI, PET, and SPECT scanners, can make incredibly detailed pictures of tissues that sit still when you do. Their renderings of the ever-beating heart, though, come out blurry. It's akin to what happens when you try to photograph a fast-moving grandchild in low light with a slow camera.

Modifications that speed up these machines are inching closer to a longstanding dream for many cardiologists: crystal-clear images of the beating heart taken from outside the body.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »