What is a Coronary Calcium Score Scan?
Commonly known as a Calcium Score, this test determines the amount of accumulated (calcified) plaque in the walls of the coronary arteries. Calcium in artery walls is an indicator of the development of Ischaemic Heart Disease (IHD). Calcium build up in artery walls can contribute to artery narrowing that restricts blood flow to the heart. Symptoms of which may include chest pain, discomfort or shortness of breath. In the early stages of plaque accumulation, patients may however have no symptoms. The Calcium Score can therefore help determine the future risk of coronary events occurring in symptomatic and asymptomatic patients. Imaging Central conducts fast, low-radiation-dose Calcium Scores on its state of the art CT scanners in Claremont.
Calcium score examples showing accumulated plaque.
When should you have a Calcium Score scan?
Patients over 45 years with concerns and/ or risk factors as follows:
- Family history of heart disease
- Other vascular disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol (high LDL, low HDL)
- Smoking, or history of smoking
- Overweight or obese
Who will be performing the procedure?
A nurse or CT technician from Imaging Central’s expert team will conduct the scan and assist you on the day. All scans including CT Scans at Imaging Central take in to account personal history and circumstances to deliver a personalised experience at the lowest possible radiation dose.
During the procedure
The Calcium Score scan is conducted in our CT scanner that is a shaped like a doughnut, open hole in the middle and short (no tunnel). Expect to be in our CT room for about 10 minutes and the scan itself to be brief.
You will lie down on the CT machine bed and ECG dots will be placed on your chest at specific locations. Your arms will be raised above your head and the bed will slowly raise you in to position in the CT machines open hole. Your head and legs will normally be outside the machine. You will need to take a small breath and hold for approximately 5 seconds.
After the procedure
The technician or nurse will release you to the reception area. The Calcium Score is a relatively short, simple scan. Patients will generally return to normal activities immediately after being scanned and discharged from our practice.
This scan only exposes you to a small amount of radiation on our state of the art 128 slice CT scanner.
Bookings are required for this procedure and are available daily at our Claremont practice.
Imaging Central’s Calcium Score scan images and reports will be delivered to your referring doctor within 24 hours of your visit to us. All CT scans at Imaging Central declare the final patient radiation dose. Reports are delivered to the referring physician.