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Cardiac Calcium Score - About the Exam

Mountain Medical offers imaging to help you determine your cardiac calcium score. Cardiac calcium scoring is a non-invasive way of obtaining information about the presence, location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries.

Calcified plaque results when there is a build-up of fat and other substances under the inner layer of the artery. This material can calcify, which signals the presence of coronary artery disease, results in plaque build-up that can narrow the arteries or close off blood flow which can cause a heart attack.

The goal of cardiac CT scan for calcium scoring is to determine if coronary heart disease is present and to what extent.

Cardiac calcium scoring of the heart and vascular system is recommended for patients with high risk factors of coronary artery disease including:

  • High blood cholesterol levels
  • Family history of heart attacks
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Physical inactivity

What you can expect during a cardiac calcium scoring exam:

  • You will be asked to lie on the examination table.
  • Electrodes will be attached to your chest and to an EKG machine that records the electrical activity of your heart.
  • The table will start moving while your CT is being performed.
  • You may be asked to hold your breath during the scanning. Any motion, whether breathing or body movements, can lead to artifacts on the images.
  • The entire examination is usually completed within 10 minutes.

Learn how to prepare for a cardiac calcium score.

Learn the benefits and risks of cardiac calcium score.