The cost of the coronary calcium score test (also known as a “heart scan” or the calcium score) is decreasing, as is the cost of most technology, and doctors are more likely to consider this useful diagnostic tool for women who may have a moderate risk of heart disease or whose risk of heart disease is unknown.
What Is A Coronary Calcium Score Test?
A CT scan is used in this non-invasive examination to determine the quantity of calcified plaque in your coronary arteries. The test determines your “calcium heart score,” which assists your doctor in determining your risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD)-related events such as a heart attack or stroke.
What Information Does A Calcium Score Test Provide That Other Tests Do Not?
The calcium score test measures the quantity of coronary artery calcium found in the plaque, which cannot be visualized non-invasively. Furthermore, the veins of the heart are five times more prone to form plaque than those of other organs. So, if you want to know if you are a “plaque builder,” a CT scan of the heart may also predict various forms of non-coronary disorders.
How Can Plaque Get Detected?
Non-invasive measurement of arterial plaque is difficult. Plaque absorbs calcium, which may be seen and tallied during a heart scan. On a CT scan, the calcium practically sparkles, and the specks of light may be counted. Coronary artery calcium content is a measure of coronary artery plaque. Coronary artery plaques can accumulate and expand slowly over time, eventually obstructing the artery. This can cause chest tightness or pain, which usually appears after exertion. Plaques can sometimes burst unexpectedly, causing a blood clot to develop and completely restrict a coronary artery, resulting in a heart attack.
What Is The Calcium Score’s Significance?
The higher the coronary calcium score, the more plaque in the arterial wall and the higher the risk of a heart attack. As a result, the calcium score is an excellent predictor of a heart attack.
Who Will Benefit From A Calcium Score?
A heart scan can assist everyone with a moderate risk of heart disease, while those with a low or high risk may not. A 5-7.5% risk score for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) is considered moderate. However, if your ASCVD score is “low risk” AND you have a family history of heart attacks at a young age, you may be regarded to be at moderate risk.
What Can Patients Anticipate From The Scan?
The cardiac scan does not require the use of dye.You will lie on your back on table that will progressively slide your entire body, except for your head, into the CT scanner for the cardiac scan (a hollow tube). The technician stands behind glass wall and instructs you while taking photographs. The treatment usually takes 10-15 minutes. Following the scan, you should be able to drive yourself home and resume your regular routines.
The system prints out your data, including the score generated for your doctor, at the push of a button. It is practically flawless since it is computerized.