CT Calcium Score
A ‘calcium score’ is a low dose CT scan of the heart. It allows cardiologists to measure the build-up of calcium plaque within the walls of a patient’s heart arteries. It is a bit like a ‘mammogram for the heart’. As heart disease progresses the level of calcium in the vessel walls increases, so it can be a very good indicator as to whether you have the disease or not. If the results of your calcium score test indicate that you are at risk then we are able to offer tailored approaches that will reduce the risk of heart attacks moving forward. If you have no coronary calcium and you are aged over 45 your risk is extremely low and you can be reassured.
How do I prepare for this scan? What should I expect on the day?
To have this test you will need to lie in the CT scanner for approximately 10 minutes, whilst attached to an ECG (electrocardiogram). The CT scanner will take a series of X-ray images inside the doughnut to construct a 3D image of your heart. The whole process is timed to coincide with your heartbeat and no contrast dye is needed for this type of scan.
There is no special preparation for this scan. However, it is recommended that you do not drink caffeine or smoke for four hours before it takes place. Whilst there are no injections it is advisable to wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing. During this scan you will receive a low dose of radiation. However, this dose is so small that it is not harmful to you. If the cardiologist feels that you are at risk of heart disease, then the risk of this level of dosage far outweighs the potential risk of cardiac problems.
GE Revolution Evo CT Scanner