What is coronary calcium scoring, And How Much Does it Cost?
Coronary calcium scoring is a procedure that use a special X-ray called a CT scan to find the buildup of calcified plaque on the walls of the arteries of the heart. This exam is NOT often covered by insurance and we take pride in charging the lowest rate in the area for the exam: $49.
Because calcium is a marker of coronary artery disease, the amount of calcium detected on a cardiac CT scan is a helpful diagnostic tool in detecting this disease at an early stage, before symptoms begin to show, and determining its severity.
Is any preparation needed for this procedure?
No, no special preparation is needed. However, it is recommended to avoid caffeine and smoking for four hours before the exam to keep heart rate normal. Also, the patient should wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes without any metal objects, such as jewelry, eyeglasses, or hairpins.
How long will my calcium scoring take?
The entire process will take only about 30 minutes.
What happens during the procedure?
During the test, you will lie on a table connected to the CT scanner. The table slides into the round opening of the machine and the scanner moves around your body. The table will move a little every few seconds to take new pictures. You may hear clicking or buzzing sounds as the table and scanner move. You also will be asked to lie completely still and hold your breath for 20 to 30 seconds while the pictures of your heart are being taken.
How do I interpret my results?
After the procedure, your radiologist will determine a numerical score and help you assess your risk of having a heart attack. The higher your score, the more plaque you have in the arteries of your heart. This makes your chance of having a heart attack higher.
Who should get this test done?
Anyone who is at risk for heart disease should consider a calcium scoring. Risks include:
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Family History of Heart Disease
- Sedentary Life Style
- Overweight by 20% of more
- High Stress Lifestyle
- Men over 40 years old
- Women over 50 years old
I feel healthy. Is calcium scoring really necessary?
If you have any of the above risks of heart disease, then this procedure will be beneficial to your health. If detected early enough, heart disease can be treated before any symptoms show. Calcium scoring is a fast, safe, and accurate test to assess whether you have heart disease.
Facts about Heart Disease:
- Heart disease is the number one killer for men and women.
- Approximately 50% of heart attacks occur in people with no previous history of heart disease.
- Approximately 33% of all initial heart attacks are fatal.
- 50% of men and 64% of women who die suddenly of heart disease have no previous symptoms.