Cardiac Calcium Score

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What is Cardiac Calcium Score?

Calcium score of 1,666

Cardiac Calcium Score is a CT scan  is a non-invasive way of obtaining information about the presence, locationand extent of calcifiedplaque in the coronary arteries-the vessels that supply oxygen-containing blood to the heart muscle. Calcified plaque results when there is a build-up of fat and other substances under the inner layer of the artery. This material can calcify which signals the presence of atherosclerosis, a disease of the vessel wall, also called coronary artery disease (CAD). People with this disease have an increased risk for heart attacks. In addition, over time, progression of plaque build up (CAD) can narrow the arteries or even close off blood flow to the heart. The result may be chest pain, also sometimes called “angina” in the chest or a heart attack.

The findings on cardiac CT are expressed as a calcium score. A score of 1-10 indicates minimal evidence while a score over 400 indicates extensive evidence of CAD.

Cardiac CT for calcium scoring is a onvenient and noninvasive way of evaluating whether you may be at increased risk for a heart attack.

How to Prepare?What are the major risk factors of CAD?
How to Prepare?
This is a simple, pain free, no needles, no dye exam.  You should not drink caffeine before your exam. Generally you can wear your regular clothes. You will lie on a  table with a few electrodes attached to your chest.  The table will slide into the CT scanner, which creates the images.  You will be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds so that the technicians can get clear images of your heart.  In some cases, you may be given medicine to slow your heart rate down. The scanner is taking pictures in between heart beats so the slower your heart rate, the better the pictures.  *See findings on the page to the right.
What are the major risk factors of CAD?
  • Strong Family History of Heart Attack
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Cholesterol
  • Smoker
  • Being overweight
  • Being physically inactive

 

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