Coronary Calcium Scoring
Heart Scanning in Central Utah
Coronary calcium scoring, also known as heart scanning, is one of the tests
that can be performed during a CT Scan. This test is used to view the
buildup of plaque in the arteries and assess a patient’s risk of
a heart attack. Your doctor may recommend this test if you have frequent
chest pains or are at risk of a cardiac event. Heart disease is number
one killer in the United States, and the coronary calcium scoring is becoming
more and more common as awareness rises.
What You Need to Know About Coronary Calcium Scorning
If you have ever had a CT Scan, you will already be familiar with the heart
scanning process. Patients lie face up on a table and receive a series
of low-dose radiation X-rays. In this case, the scans are concentrated
on the heart to obtain images of the coronary arteries. The tests are
not very time consuming, usually lasting around 10 minutes, and are noninvasive.
Unless something that requires immediate attention is discovered, you
should be able to return home the same day you arrive for the test.
The importance of coronary calcium scanning:
- Calcium contributes to the development of artery plaque
- Artery plaque is a buildup of cholesterol that narrows the arteries and
makes it difficult for blood to flow
- Plaque hardens over time in a process called “calcification”
which increases the risk of a blood clot
- A heart attack occurs when a blood clot forms in the arteries
- Coronary calcium scoring allows your doctor to assess the condition of
your arteries and take preventative measures if you are at risk for a
heart attack or other forms of heart disease
Artery calcification is serious, but catching it before a heart attack
occurs gives patients a major advantage. Making dietary changes, getting
more exercise, and taking certain medications can improve the heart’s
condition and prevent a heart attack. If severe calcification is discovered
during your heart scan, our team can instruct you on heart healthy habits.
To learn more about coronary calcium scoring at Central Valley Medical
Center, call our imaging department at 435-623-3165.