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Beta-blockers for cardiac CT: a primer for the radiologist.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this article is to describe a protocol for the administration of beta-blockers for cardiac CT. A low and regular heart rate is necessary for optimal visualization of the coronary arteries on CT and can be achieved by the administration of medications.

CONCLUSION: Beta-blockers can be safely given, orally or IV, to most patients to lower the heart rate for cardiac CT. A protocol can be implemented and patients can be screened for certain contraindications to allow successful administration of these medications by radiologists.

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