Combined Heart and Lung screening (low dose CT scan)

Two screens in one scan


Criteria for Screening: Patients 50+ or smokers/former smokers

Heart Disease
More than 165,000 New Zealand adults have heart disease. Every 90 minutes a New Zealander dies from heart disease. Many of these deaths are premature (the person dies too early) and could be prevented.

Lung Cancer
Every year in New Zealand, more people die of lung cancer, than of breast cancer, prostate cancer and melanoma combined.
Lung cancer is New Zealand’s biggest cancer killer with more than 1800 New Zealander's dying from lung cancer every year. Everyday 5 New Zealander's die of lung cancer and another 6 are diagnosed with lung cancer.

Click here to assess your risk of heart and/or lung disease and book your Heart and lung disease screening. 
 

Click here if you would like information on how to quit smoking.

Our Heart and Lung Health initiative uses a personalized screening approach, combining a heart check and lung check in one scan, based on an assessment of an individual’s risk profile. We have adopted governance and quality improvement approaches and processes from the NHS ‘Targeted Screening for lung cancer with low dose Computed Tomography’. This has allowed us to utilize a robust framework or governance and quality improvement whilst adapting to the local NZ context.

Personalised Lung Cancer Screening
Lung cancer screening aims to detect lung cancer at a very early stage — when it's more likely to be cured. By the time lung cancer signs and symptoms develop, the cancer is usually too advanced for curative treatment.
Continued lung cancer screening will be discussed with you after your initial scan but should ideally be undertaken yearly by people at risk of developing lung cancer. The risk assessment questionnaire provides a personalised risk assessment to determine if lung cancer screening is recommended for you.

This risk assessment is based on the results of lung cancer screening trials in the US, Europe and Asia which found that lung cancer deaths were significantly decreased in people who had annual low-dose CT scans. The risk assessment has been carefully adapted to be relevant to New Zealand.

Personalised Heart Scan
A heart scan or coronary calcium scan can measure the amount of calcium-containing plaque in the coronary arteries. A build up of plaque in the arteries can develop slowly over time without any signs or symptoms. Eventually plaque build-up will restrict blood flow to the heart muscle. Plaques can also rupture and cause a heart attack.


The risk assessment questionnaire provides a personalised risk assessment to understand if a heart scan is recommended for you. 

The heart risk assessment identifies patients at risk of a cardiovascular event in the next 5-10 years and is based on cardiovascular risk studies from the US, the UK and NZ as well as the CSANZ position statement on coronary calcium scoring. The heart scan is often a once only test but may be repeated after at least 5 years.

Combined Heart and Lung Scan
A combined heart and lung scan is available as your initial test if your personalised risk assessment recommends both scans.  The advantage of a combined scan is exposure to less radiation, is more cost-effective and more convenient than two separate scans. Annual follow-up scans are lung screening only. If you wish to have either a heart or lung scan only, please discuss this at the time of booking.

Click here to assess your risk of heart and/or lung disease and book your Heart and lung disease screening.

 

Assess your risk factors for heart and lung disease

Find out if a heart and lung disease screen is appropriate for you.
This screening uses low-dose computed tomography (also called a low-dose CT scan). The scan only takes a few minutes and is not painful.
During the scan, you lie on a bed and an X-ray machine uses a low dose (amount) of radiation to take detailed images of your lungs and heart. These images are then reviewed by a Specialist Radiologist to identify signs of lung or heart disease.
The CT radiographer who is trained in the use of X-ray equipment and CT scanning, will position you on the bed and take care of you throughout the scan. 
After the scan, you are able to resume your normal activities.
You will be notified of your results as soon as possible (usually between 2 – 5 working days). If there is anything that requires further investigation you will be contacted by one of our friendly Heart or Lung Specialists and given the option to arrange a consultation and fast track intervention if required. Otherwise, if there are no concerns, you will be sent a copy of your results and some information about how to keep healthy!

Assess your risk