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Heart Calcium Scoring

motivation-to-change.jpgWhat is a Heart Calcium Score?

A calcium scoring test is a special CT scan that takes images of the heart at very fast rates. This allows for the detection of calcium, which is a common component in the buildup of plaque inside blood vessels. With calcium scoring, we can measure the buildup of calcium and, therefore, the buildup of plaque inside arteries.

Who should consider Heart Calcium Score?

Men ages 40-70 and women ages 50-70, or those with any of the following risk factors:

  • Family history of heart disease

  • History of smoking

  • Diabetes

  • High cholesterol

  • High blood pressure

  • Overweight

  • Physical inactivity

  • High stress levels

How will knowing your Heart Calcium Score be helpful?

Knowing your calcium score will help you by:

  • Detecting the buildup of calcium earlier than any other technology

  • Assisting you and your physician in developing an appropriate prevention strategy (i.e. lipids)

  • Helping to determine the need for further cardiac test or evaluation

  • Giving you piece of mind

Who should not have a Heart Calcium Score test?

Pregnant women, people with known coronary artery disease or those who have had a coronary bypass procedure, and people with resting heart rates greater than 90-95 beats per minute.

What is the Heart Calcium Score test like?

No preparation is required, and there are no shots, treadmills, or dyes involved. Prior to the test you may be asked to put on a gown. A technologist will place small monitoring patches (electrodes) on your chest so we can match our scanner to your heartbeat. The calcium scoring exam uses low-dose x-rays in conjunction with computer technology to generate images of calcium in the arteries. You will be in the scan room about five minutes, with the scan itself taking just a few seconds while you lie on your back and hold your breath.

How will I get my results?

A radiologist will analyze the images and send a signed report to you. A report will also be placed in your electronic health record. We recommend that you schedule an appointment and review the results with your primary care provider.

What does Heart Calcium Score test cost?

The cost of test is $50 with payment due at the time of service. We accept personal checks, and Visa, MasterCard, or Discover credit cards.

Will my health insurance cover Heart Calcium Score test?

Health insurance does not normally cover the cost of this screening exam. 

For an appointment or more information, call the Imaging Department at (660) 562-7907.