Multi-slice computer tomography (MSCT)

Cardiac imaging by multi-slice computed tomography (MSCT) is a recently developed technique for assessing the function of the heart and coronary arteries non-invasively. Cardiac MSCT uses X-ray beams and a liquid dye to form a 3-D image of the heart and vessels. The scanning machine used is very sophisticated and scans the heart very quickly. This provides sharp, detailed images that can’t be achieved with other tests. In the same way as if you were to have an angiogram, you will be injected with a liquid dye to look for any narrowing of your coronary arteries.

In contrast to coronary angiography, where the liquid dye is injected by an invasive catheter into your coronary arteries directly, the liquid dye during this examination is injected into a superficial vein by a small needle placed either on the back of one of your hands or in your elbow groove. Your body then transports the dye when circulating your blood and the examination will start when it reaches your coronary arteries.

A CT scanner uses X-rays to scan the dye moving through your heart and its blood vessels to create sharp, detailed images. The examination only takes a few seconds and is usually done during a short breath hold. The amount of radiation you are exposed to is very low.

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ESC Guidelines for Heart Failure

What patients need to know

This guide for patients from the European Society of Cardiology aims to provide an overview of the latest evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure.

In particular, it should help patients to understand the:

  • main types of heart failure
  • medicines used to treat heart failure
  • devices that may be appropriate
  • importance of rehabilitation
  • management by a multidisciplinary team
  • importance of self-care in managing your own condition

Learn more


A series of 9 simple, captivating animations explaining heart failure and its treatment.

These narrated animations explain how a healthy heart works, what happens to it in heart failure and how various treatments work to improve your health.


In this section you can watch, listen or read interviews with other people with heart failure and their caregivers.


and share your own views and experiences with other patients, families and caregivers. is a European Society of Cardiology website

The website was developed under the direction of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The ESC is a world leader in the discovery and dissemination of best practices in cardiovascular medicine. Our members and decision-makers are healthcare professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to represent professionals in the field of cardiology in Europe and beyond.

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