Coronary Calcium Scoring Risk Assessment
- Calcium score is the most sensitive, non-invasive test to detect the presence of heart disease
- Calcium score is based on a quick and safe non-invasive CT scan of the heart arteries
- Calcium score calculates the risk of heart disease by measuring the amount of calcium depositon in the heart arteries
A coronary calcium score is a special type of multidector CT scan that measures the amount of calcium present in the coronary arteries. The scan uses x-rays to create detailed pictures of any dectectable calcium in your heart and arteries. The calcium score is used to predict your risk of heart attack or other heart problems before any signs of symptoms occur. A coronary calcium scan is a fairly quick and easy test. You will lie quietly in the scanner machine for about ten (10) minutes while it takes pictures of your heart.
BEFORE THE TEST
- No caffeine products (coffee, tea, soft drink, energy drink etc) for 24 hours prior
- No smoking for 12 hours prior
- No exercise on the morning of the test
DURING THE TEST
For the scan, you will remove your clothes above the waist and wear a hospital gown. You also will remove any jewellery from around your neck or chest. The technician who operates the scanner will clean areas of your chest and apply sticky patches with senors called electrodes. The patches are connected to an ECG (electrocardiogram) machine. The ECG will record your heart’s electrical activity during the scan. This makes it possible to take pictures of your heart when it’s relaxed between beats.
The CT scanner is a large machine that has a hollow, circular tube in the center. You will lie on your back on a sliding table. The table will slowly slide into the opening of the machine. Inside the scanner, an x-ray tube will move around your body to take pictures of your heart. The technician will control the CT scanner from the next room. He or she will be able to see you through a glass window and talk to you through a speaker. The techinican will ask you to lie still and hold your breath for short periods whilst each picture is taken. The coronary calcium scan will take about ten (10) minutes, although the actual scanning will take only a few seconds. During the test, the machine will make clicking and whirring sounds as it takes pictures. The scan causes no discomfort and is totally non-invasive, painless and safe.
AFTER THE TEST
You will be able to return to your normal activities after the coronary calcium scan is done. Once the test is finished please make an appointment to see your Doctor to discuss the results.
RISKS AND SIDE EFFECTS
Serious complications are rare during this test however you should be informed of the possible risks, including:
- Women should always inform their doctor if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. CT scanning is, in general, not recommended for pregnant women unless medically necessary because of potential risk to the fetus in the womb.
FOR ALL Calcium Score Bookings
DIRECT LINE – (08) 6332 6950