This medical health video shows a new quick heart scan.
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Jennifer Matthews: When Marsha Van Nuys goes out to eat, she orders with great care. She's had high blood pressure for years, but her last visit to the doctor revealed something new. Marsha Van Nuys: I went to my physician for my normal 3-month blood work, and he discovered an irregular heartbeat. I went, 'Uh oh!' Jennifer Matthews: When initial tests offered no explanation, Doctor Daniel Berman recommended a mouthful of technology -- an angiogram, using electron beam tomography. It's similar to a standard CT scan, but with one crucial difference. Dr. Daniel Berman: With either of these techniques, it's possible to get images quite fast. But you can get them about 10-times faster with the electron beam approach than you can with the conventional approach. Jennifer Matthews: The electron beam is so fast; it can render images of a human heart, even as it beats. Dr. Daniel Berman: Notice how much the arteries are moving during the cardiac cycle. With a conventional scanner, the motion of the artery can cause blurring of the images. Jennifer Matthews: In Marsha's case, the angiogram revealed a 50 percent blockage in two arteries. She was put on medication, kept a close watch on her diet, and started exercising. She says she's never felt better. Marsha Van Nuys: I feel safe. I feel informed. I feel in control. Jennifer Matthews: This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.