Coronary Calcium Scan
A coronary calcium scan can be a good first step towards ensuring a healthy heart. What a perfect gift for someone you love.
A Warning Before Symptoms Appear
A coronary calcium scan (CCS) is a noninvasive exam which looks for specks of calcium (called calcifications) in the walls of the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries are the vessels that supply oxygen-containing blood to the heart wall. Calcium is an early sign of coronary artery disease. The calcium score gives an idea of whether coronary artery disease is present despite a lack of symptoms or is likely to develop in the next few years.
- Before, during and after a coronary calcium scan
- Why choose the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center for a CT study?
- The SHAPE Program - dedicated to heart attack prevention
Most people who suffer heart attacks have only average or slightly elevated cholesterol. In people with cholesterol levels as low as 180, heart attack is still the leading cause of death. Many people with plaque deposits often do not have any symptoms. This is why a coronary calcium scan is so important. This simple test can provide an early warning of coronary artery disease before experiencing any cardiac symptoms.
A coronary calcium scan is simple and easy for the patient, who lies quietly in the scanner machine. There is no injection. The test involves two breath holds and takes only about five minutes. To measure how much calcium has accumulated in the coronary arteries, we use a state-of-the-art 64-slice dual-source CT scanner which is many times faster than a conventional CT scanner.
Who Should Have a Coronary Calcium Scan?
This screening is for women over 55 and men over 45 with the following risk factors:
- Family history of heart disease
- Abnormal cholesterol levels
- High blood pressure
- Unhealthy lifestyle
What is included?
- 64-slice CT scanner
- Same-day electronic reporting
A physician's referral is not required for a coronary calcium scan. A final written report will be mailed or faxed to the patient and the designated cardiologist or other physician within 48 hours of the test. The report includes the findings from the medical history, the cholesterol level and the results of the coronary calcium scan.