A calcium score is a way to measure the amount of calcium that builds up in your arteries. It helps detect heart disease risk and determine the type of treatment needed to reduce your risk.
Calcium scores are calculated from a patient’s coronary arteries using computed tomography (CT) scans. They provide information about plaque buildup in your heart. The higher the calcium score, the greater your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. You can get calcium score screening in Millburn, NJ done efficiently.
How does calcium score help in diagnosis?
- Calcium score screening (or CACS) is a non-invasive procedure performed using x-ray equipment to detect calcium buildups in coronary arteries.
- The test can determine whether or not you should undergo stent placement surgery.
- Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association.
- Calcium scoring provides valuable information to cardiologists who treat patients with CAD.
- The test is done using a CT scan or an X-ray.
- Calcium buildup in the arteries is measured as a number between 0 and 1000.
- A high CAC score means that your arteries are highly clogged.
- If you have a high score, you may be at higher risk for cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke.
How is the procedure done?
- CACS is typically done as part of a cardiac stress test.
- During the test, patients lie down on a table and breathe into a tube connected to a special machine.
- This machine measures the amount of oxygen in their blood and compares it to normal levels.
- If they don’t breathe enough, the machine stimulates them to inhale air until they reach maximum capacity.
Calcium scoring has become a standard part of cardiac CT exams. The American Heart Association recommends performing CACS every 5 years for those who have already had heart attacks. This is because calcium buildup in the arteries increases the risk of another attack. Calcium deposits can also cause blood clots, which can lead to stroke or heart failure. If your doctor prescribes a calcium scan, he or she will explain its benefits and risks before ordering it.