Cardiac Calcium Scoring: An Affordable Heart Snapshot

March 23, 2022 – 2 min read

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Cardiac Calcium Scoring: An Affordable Heart Snapshot

Every day, your heart pushes blood throughout your body, and you rarely pay attention to it. But you should. Because if your heart is at risk due to blockages, so is your life. Fortunately, you don’t have to guess how it’s doing. With cardiac calcium scoring, you get a quick, affordable snapshot of your heart health.

Think you could benefit from this painless heart scan? At American Health Imaging, we’ll get your scan done quickly, conveniently and for the right price.

Inside cardiac calcium scoring

Over time, fat and cholesterol, also known as plaque, can build up on the artery walls. This makes it difficult for blood to pass through and reach its destination. When there’s plaque in the coronary arteries, it’s known as coronary artery disease (CAD). In most cases, the first symptom of CAD is a heart attack.

Cardiac calcium scoring helps you avoid this fate. It tells you the health of your coronary arteries before a heart attack occurs.

During cardiac calcium scoring, a CT scan of your heart is performed. A radiologist then reviews your scan to score the amount of coronary artery calcium. The amount of calcium suggests the amount of plaque in your arteries. If the CT scan shows high levels of calcium, it could mean elevated plaque levels are present, a factor that can lead to a heart attack.

Your cardiac calcium score depends on the grading method used. If using a coronary calcium scan, a score of 0 constitutes the lowest risk possible, and higher than 300 is severe.

No matter your score, you may experience blockages in your arteries. By knowing your score, you take action to lower it. Research from the Journal of the American Heart Association shows that regular exercise is a step in the right direction.

Who needs cardiac calcium scoring?

You have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. You eat an unhealthy diet and don’t exercise often. So should you get cardiac calcium scoring? Possibly.

This scan isn’t recommended on its own. Rather, it’s another tool in your doctor’s toolbox. Along with a physical exam, bloodwork and other studies, your cardiac calcium score gives a full picture of your CAD risk.

Your doctor prescribes cardiac calcium scoring when risk factors and health history indicate potential heart disease. This screening often helps determine whether you should be put on cholesterol medication.

Get scored at American Health Imaging

CT scans take place at many medical facilities, including hospitals. However, going to a hospital can be inconvenient or expensive. Using a standalone imaging center, such as American Health Imaging, is a faster, more affordable solution.

Find an American Health Imaging center to schedule a snapshot of your heart health today.