Coronary calcium scan
If your family has a history of heart disease, or if you have high blood pressure or are overweight. No matter what your age, talk to your doctor about getting your cardiac calcium score.
A coronary calcium scan is a non-invasive way to obtain information about the presence, location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries – the vessels that supply oxygen-containing blood to the heart muscle. Calcified plaque results when fat and other substances build up under the inner layer of the artery. This material can calcify, which signals the presence of atherosclerosis, a disease of the vessel wall (also called coronary artery disease or CAD). People with this disease have an increased risk for heart attacks.
Because calcium is a marker of CAD, the amount of calcium detected on a cardiac CT scan is a helpful prognostic tool. The findings on the cardiac CT are expressed as a calcium score. Another name for this test is coronary artery calcium scoring.
What to expect during a coronary calcium scan
- No special dietary preparations are necessary prior to the scan.
- Patients will need to remove any jewelry that might be in the way of the picture. Patients may also need to remove some of their clothes and wear a hospital gown during the test.
- Electrodes on the chest are connected to an EKG machine to determine the best time for the CT scans to be taken.
- The patient lies on a table, and the table slides into a round opening as the scanner moves around the patient. The table moves a little every few seconds to take new pictures, and the patient may hear clicking or buzzing sounds as the table and scanner move.
- A technologist will watch through a window and the patient will be able to talk with the technologist through a two-way intercom.
Who interprets the results and how do I get them?
A cardiac radiologist with Wichita Radiological Group will analyze the images and send an official report to your primary care physician or physician who referred you for the exam, who will discuss the results with you. The diagnostic imaging report includes: cardiac calcium scoring (detail and total), score summary, ranking guide, impression and any additional notes.
As this scan is considered a screening and not a diagnostic test, it is not covered by most insurance plans.
Wesley Healthcare offers the screening at a special pricing of $99, which includes a diagnostic imaging report. The screening is available at three convenient locations including Wesley Medical Center, Wesley West ER & Diagnostic Center and Wesley Woodlawn Hospital and ER. Call (316) 962-7900 to schedule your coronary calcium scan today.