In Cardiac Tests You Can Now Have Your Cake and Eat It, Too!

From the previous article that I wrote on the coronary CT Angiogram, most all my patients now know that this has been the definitive test for screening for coronary artery disease, the most common cause of death in men and women in our country.

Many of my patients have done this test (as have I), and over the last year, over a dozen of my patients have had cardiac interventions to prevent heart attacks because of the information from this test.

A few things have held patients back from getting this test.  The first understandable reservation was about the amount of radiation given on the coronary CT Angiogram.  It has been equal to approximately 50 current chest X-rays. 

The other consideration holding people back, understandably, was the cost, which is $1500.

I am happy to let everybody know that now through major technology improvements both Cedars Sinai Hospital and Cardiovascular Medical Group (CVMG ) have been able to drop the radiation dose by up to 90 per cent!

Below I have a summary of estimated radiation doses for the new vs. the old cardiac imaging studies which Dr. Daniel Berman and I put together. 

You can see that the amount of radiation with the new low dose coronary CT Angiogram is now approximately the same as a simple CT coronary calcium scan (also known as EBCT)! 

To me this is very exciting news as previously wanting to avoid the large dose of radiation with a CT Angiogram, we have been doing the simple CT coronary calcium scan (EBCT).  But because this only shows calcified plaque on the wall of the arteries, we have also had to do a treadmill test to make sure there is not an extreme amount of soft plaque which will be missed by the simple EBCT.

Now that we have the much lower-dose coronary CT Angiogram which shows the soft plaque on the inside of the artery walls as well as the hard plaque on the surface of the walls,  it seems obvious that this is the best test to do. Financial considerations must include the recognition that if you only get the EBCT you will also need to do a treadmill or Nuclear Treadmill or Stress Echo and those have significant costs as well. 

In addition, because this test is so thorough, if a patient comes out “completely clean or nearly clean”, they will not need another heart screening test for 2, 3, or 4 years! 

In summary, I am so happy that Cedars-Sinai Hospital and CVMG have developed this test and

I would be delighted to talk to you about the relevance of this test for you and your health at our next office visit.

Summary of Estimated Radiation Doses
for Cardiac & Chest Imaging Studies

Test Name

Radiation Dose (Rads)

New Low Dose CT Angiogram

0.2 or 0.5 (depending on your heart status)



Former CT Angiogram (2005-2006)


CT Chest


Current Chest X ray


Former Chest X-ray (c. 1980)



About Dr. Soram Khalsa

As an MD, Dr Soram specializes in Integrative Medicine combining diet, nutrition, acupuncture, herbs and nutrition. Visit Dr Soram’s Healthy Living Store where you’ll find high-quality nutritional supplements: