Heart Scan

CT ScannerToday I visited my awesome sister Cheri at work; she’s a radiologic technician. On Fridays, she works as part of a heart study, performing heart scans via computer tomography to look for arterial calcification and any other issues.

The technology they use, and the imaging capabilities, are super fascinating.

Since she works for a study program, she was able to scan mine. (I hadn’t come in for a scan, but she offered.) It’s amazing to watch your own heart beating on screen in video image. I’m happy to report that I have no arterial calcification whatsoever, although there was perhaps a tiny speck of calcium in my aortic valve.

The study correlates the scan results with a medical history questionnaire: elevated cholesterol, high triglycerides, history of hypertension, diabetes, stroke. (Thank goodness I have none of those.) It will be interesting to see their findings when they publish results.

What she did find, though, was a big ol’ anterior bone spur on one of my mid-thoracic vertebrae. Rather than affecting my spinal column in any way, it juts into my chest cavity. I’ve had an intermittently painful spot there most of my adult life, and I figured it was a body mechanics issue. The radiologist didn’t think it was serious enough to follow up with a doctor or avoid yoga – just something to be aware of.

I’m thankful my heart is healthy and the other stuff minor – and grateful to my sister for doing the scan.

4 Responses to “Heart Scan”

  1. Vince Says:

    Some of the best good news is good medical news. And what a great sister you have!

  2. Jeri Says:

    Thanks, Vince – she is pretty cool! And patient with me, too. ;)

  3. Saqib Says:

    Wow that is amazing. I have tremendous respect for researchers. They’re the ones responsible for moving society forward. Of course you need engineers to pull it off ;)

  4. Tom Says:

    Jeri, the routing, display, and storage of those kinds of images is what I do. Also helping doctors and technologists with hardware and software problems. I get to play with large-format multi-display workstations, high-speed networks, and large (50TB) archives. And the software that makes them all work together.

    You’re right, it is fascinating, but the best part is helping a doctor say, “You’re healthy!”