CT Calcium-Score Screening

  • CT Calcium-Score Screening

WHAT IS CT CALCIUM-SCORE SCREENING

Coronary arteries are the vessels that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart. Plaque or calcium build-up in the coronary arteries causes heart disease or can lead to a heart attack. A coronary calcium-score screening may be ordered by a physician to detect this build-up. A calcium-score screening uses computerized tomography to detect calcium deposits in the coronary arteries of your heart. A higher score suggests you are at greater risk of significant narrowing of the coronary arteries and a higher risk of future heart attack.

THE CT HEART SCAN WITH CALCIUM SCORE PROCESS

During the process, the patient typically lies down on a comfortable table that slides into a large, doughnut-shaped CT scanner. The procedure is non-invasive and involves minimal discomfort. A radiologic technologist operates the scanner from an adjacent room, ensuring patient comfort and safety throughout. The scanner takes multiple cross-sectional images of the heart, which are then processed by a computer to create detailed pictures of the coronary arteries. Calcium deposits in the arteries appear as bright spots on the images, and a specialized scoring system quantifies the extent of calcification. The entire process is relatively quick, usually lasting just a few minutes, and requires no special preparation or recovery time, making it an invaluable tool for assessing an individual’s risk of heart disease.

WHO SHOULD GET A CT HEART SCAN WITH CALCIUM SCORING?

A person who is between the ages of 40-70 and at increased risk for heart disease but do not have symptoms.

The American Heart Association has identified the following risk factors:

  • Men over age 45
  • Women over age 55
  • Elevated LDL cholesterol
  • Low HDL cholesterol
  • Family history of coronary artery disease
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes

Does insurance cover CT Calcium-Score Screening?

This exam is not currently covered by all insurances because it is considered a preventative study. Please ask about our cash discounted rate.

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