What is Cardiac CT for Calcium Scoring?

Cardiac CT Calcium Scoring is a technique we use to determine if coronary calcification is present in your coronary arteries. We use an advanced CT scan that captures cross-sectional images of the heart at a fraction of a second. This unique technology allows the detection of calcium in the coronary arteries, which is directly related to the total plaque burden, and compares it to standards for your age and gender. Unlike many medical tests, coronary calcium scoring is fast, painless and noninvasive. The entire procedure takes about 10 minutes and there is no preparation necessary.

Who should consider the procedure?

Individuals who exhibit a number of the primary factors that increase your risk of coronary heart disease, including women over age 55 or who have passed menopause

  • Men over age 45
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Abnormal cholesterol levels
  • Physical inactivity

What can I expect during this procedure?

Coronary calcium scoring takes less than 30 minutes. After you complete a brief personal and family health history, you will have a non-invasive, painless computed tomography (CT) scan of your heart and coronary arteries. The technologist will need to place electrocardiogram (ECG) leads on your chest so that the CT scanner can precisely measure the beating of your heart. This enables the scanner to take dozens of images during those fractions of a second between beats when your heart is still. Once completed, computer software enables our radiologists to calculate a total calcium score. This numerical score is compared to gender and age specific patient databases to determine your percentile ranking.

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