What is a cardiac scoring exam?
Early detection is a proven, successful strategy for fighting heart disease. We offer a quick and non-invasive way to obtain information about the presence, location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries.
A cardiac CT scan for coronary calcium evaluates the arteries that supply oxygenated blood to the heart muscle. Calcified plaque results when there is a build-up of fatty deposits and other substances on the walls of the arteries around the heart. This calcified material signals the presence of coronary artery disease. Individuals with this disease are at increased risk for heart attack.
Presence of Plaque
CT Cardiac Calcium Scoring Procedure
The test itself is completely painless. You will be asked to lie quietly on the CT scanner’s “patient couch” during the study. Depending on the type of study being done, you may be injected with an I.V. contrast material during the exam. This may make you feel warm during the injection. This is a normal feeling.
Because contrast agents contain iodine, which causes an allergic reaction in some individuals, be sure to tell the technologist, nurse or radiologist if you have had an allergic reaction to these agents before, or if you have any other allergies. We use nonionic contrast exclusively which is less risk to the patients.
How is it performed?
During cardiac computed tomography (CT) for calcium scoring, you will lie on your back on the table attached to the CT scanner. The table slides through the opening in the scanner while, at the same time, a cylinder around the opening rotates around your body. The table will move forward slightly every few seconds so that you will be in the proper position for each new cross-section. This process continues until the region of the heart has been thoroughly covered. Electrodes (small metal discs) will be attached to your chest and to an ECG machine that records the electrical activity of your heart. This makes it possible to record CT scans at the best times – when the heart is not actively contracting. You will be asked to hold your breath for periods of 20 to 30 seconds while images are recorded.
A radiologist, a physician experienced in CT and other radiology examinations, will analyze the images and provide a report to your primary care or referring physician.
The CT Cardiac Calcium Scoring Exam is fast, non-invasive and inexpensive at just $125.
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Offering Low Dose lung screenings if you have an order from your physician.