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Manhattan Cardiology
How’s your coronary artery calcium?

How is the calcium in your coronary arteries? You may be wondering: “What is that?” Coronary artery calcium (CAC) testing may reveal your risk of heart disease, frequently before other warning symptoms arise, in the same way that cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar tests might. One of the most recent and reliable evaluation methods is the coronary calcium score. 

What may a calcium heart scan show you?

The CT scan shows visual evidence of calcium deposits in your coronary arteries. These deposits are also known as calcifications, and are a sign of coronary artery disease.

What is the purpose of a calcium heart scan?

If your doctor is looking for more information about your risk for heart disease, he or she may recommend a CAC. 

Blood lipids, cholesterol, calcium, and other chemicals combine to form plaque. It’s a slow process that begins years before any symptoms appear. These deposits might obstruct the oxygen-rich blood that supplies the heart muscles. The rupture of plaque may potentially generate a blood clot, which in turn can lead to a heart attack. 

What is the procedure for a calcium heart scan?

A computed tomography (CT) scan is a quick and painless diagnostic tool. If your score is zero, your chance of suffering a heart attack in the near future is very low. The higher the score, the more you’ll need to monitor your overall heart condition.

Why isn’t a calcium scan of the heart performed on everyone?

This is a relatively new test, so it is not included in the established standards for cardiac exams, and most health insurance policies will not pay for it. Studies comparing it to other tests have demonstrated its efficacy in estimating the risk of cardiac events; therefore, its usage is likely to increase in the future.