CT Calcium Scoring

A cardiac CT scan for coronary calcium is a non-invasive way of obtaining information about the presence, location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries (blood vessels that supply oxygen-containing blood to the heart muscles). 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). The information obtained from CT calcium scoring can help evaluate whether you are at increased risk for heart attack.

What to Expect

Electrodes will be placed on your chest to record your heart rate. On the CT exam table, you will lie on a long table that slides through a short, tunnel-like machine. During the scan you’ll need to stay still and hold your breath so as not to blur the images. If you’re uncomfortable in closed spaces, you may request medication to help you relax.

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