Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring (CAC) CT. TestCardiac Calcium Scoring is a revolutionary procedure that reveals the amount of calcified plaque on the coronary arteries, an indicator of a person’s risk of heart attack, before symptoms begin to show. Calcium is a marker of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). The amount of calcium detected on a cardiac CT scan is a helpful prognostic tool. Studies have shown that Cardiac Calcium Scoring is a stronger predictor of heart disease than cholesterol levels. Procedure & Results During a Cardiac Calcium Scoring exam, patients lie comfortably on an imaging table and hold their breath for intervals of approximately 20 seconds while a CT scanner takes images of their coronary arteries. The scan is fast, safe and accurate. After the exam, one of our on-site radiologists will review the images, looking for areas of arterial calcification, or “plaque” buildup. The total amount of “plaque” buildup the images reveal determines a patient’s overall cardiac risk, which is designated by a number called a Coronary Artery Calcium (CAC) score. That score is then relayed to the patient by the radiologist and it gives them a better understanding of the level of plaque (or lack thereof) in their arteries.
Who is this test for?Anyone 40 years of age or older who is considered at risk for heart disease based on family history or personal history may benefit by having a screening exam. This includes you if you have:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Family history of heart disease
- History of smoking
- Sedentary or stressful lifestyle
- Overweight by 20% or more