CT Calcium Score
Your CT calcium score is obtained through coronary calcium scoring, also known as cardiac calcium scoring or CT scan calcium scoring. By observing the health of your coronary arteries, our radiologists can determine any blockages, buildups, or irregularities that may lead to or be the result of coronary artery disease. A useful preventive and diagnostic medical imaging tool, CT calcium scoring can help evaluate your heart health.
What is CT calcium scoring?
CT cardiac calcium scoring assesses the location and severity of calcified plaque in the arteries of your heart and depicts these findings as your calcium score. Because excessive calcification and plaque buildup are both a marker of coronary artery disease, your calcium score from a coronary calcium scoring test can help predict future heart health or potential heart complications.
What can coronary calcium scoring help diagnose?
Calcifications in the coronary arteries found through CT calcium scoring may be a sign of coronary artery disease. CAD can increase the potential risk for cardiac arrest. Coronary artery disease is when an accumulation of plaque narrows your coronary arteries and reduces proper blood flow. The narrowing of arteries restricts blood flow to the heart muscles, reducing the amount of oxygen and nutrients the heart has and needs to operate properly. In patients suffering from coronary artery disease, the main arteries harden as a result of excessive plaque buildup. CT calcium scoring can be used as a preventive tool to help determine any potential heart health risks and how to lower your chances of heart attack or coronary artery disease. Smokers and patients with high cholesterol are at an increased risk to develop heart disease or suffer a heart attack or stroke.
|Calcium Score||Presence of Calcified Plaque||Heart Attack Risk|
|0||No calcified plaque||Low|
|1-10||Small amounts of calcified plaque||Low|
|11-100||Calcified plaque is present||Moderate|
|101-400||Considerable calcified plaque levels||Moderate to high|
|Over 400||Large quantities of calcified plaque are present||High|
What can I expect from a cardiac calcium scoring test?
You will first lie down on the procedure table to begin your coronary calcium scoring test. Electrodes will be placed on your chest in order to record any activity of your heart. These electrodes are connected to an electrocardiograph, which allows our radiologists to take CT scans when the heart is not contracting. You will enter the CT scan machine, and one of our radiologists will begin to gather images. In most cases, you will pass through the CAT scan machine multiple times to obtain clear, comprehensive scans of the coronary arteries and heart. You may be asked to hold your breath during certain periods of your CT calcium scoring test. When your CT scan calcium scoring test is completed, you may be asked to wait while one of our radiologists ensures that the images gathered are of a high enough quality.
How long does calcium scoring test take, & when will I get my results?
CT calcium scoring tests can, in most cases, be completed in just ten to fifteen minutes. However, additional scans may be needed if any images captured are blurry or not as clear. Fortunately, the majority of CT calcium scoring tests do not face this problem and can be completed quickly. Our team of radiologists will begin to evaluate your coronary calcium scoring results and notify your physician as soon as your results are available.
How can I learn more about coronary calcium scoring?
Our radiologists at Park Avenue Radiologists would be happy to discuss CT calcium scoring with you. For an appointment or additional information, please call 212.888.1000, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or request an appointment online.