CAD, an acronym that stands for coronary artery disease, often originates in the inner walls of one or more of the heart arteries in the form of cholesterol-filled plaque and other fatty substances. As you grow older, the burden of these deposits become hardened with calcium. If a coronary artery becomes too narrow, the flow of oxygen rich blood that is able to reach the heart muscles becomes restricted. If these problem areas are not identified in time and addressed with the proper treatment, the calcification can lead to more serious problems such as a heart attack, heart failure, and other heart-related issues.
What is Calcium Scoring?
Calcium scoring refers to a non-invasive outpatient test involving no IV or medications that are sometimes performed to assist with identifying the existence of CAD. It is also used to evaluate the risk of a heart attack. The simple and painless test requires only minimal preparation, and patients can expect the exam to last 15 minutes or less.
What Does the Procedure Involve?
On your test date, our expert technologists and radiologists will take a heart CT after placing EKG leads. These detailed photos of your heart and arteries help the radiologist determine whether or not calcification has occurred in the arteries, and if so, where it is located and how much is present. Once this important information has been collected, your “calcium score” can then be figured.
Scores between 11-100 are a sign of mild calcification.
Scores between 101-400 are a sign of moderate to severe atherosclerotic plaque.
Based on the findings of this information, our radiologists can help determine your risks. This in turn will help your physician establish a personalized treatment plan that could include making changes to your diet, adding or adjusting medications, and additional testing.
There are many risk factors for developing CAD, including:
High blood pressure
Some people may experience warning signs of a heart problem, such as:
Angina (chest pain)
Shortness of breath
Others experience no symptoms or warning signs at all. Because of this, it is important to speak with The Radiology Clinic regarding your individual risk factors and decide if calcium scoring by Gaithersburg MD may be beneficial to you.
Calcium Scoring by Gaithersburg MD
Don’t wait to make your health a top priority. Contact us today to set up your Calcium Scoring CT appointment.