A coronary calcium scan is a noninvasive and painless scan of the heart that uses X-ray technology. It looks for calcified build up in the walls of the coronary arteries, and reveals important information about the health of your heart. The result of a coronary calcium scan is a coronary calcium score.
• A coronary calcium scan be used to diagnose coronary heart disease, the most common kind of heart disease and the leading cause of heart attacks. It can also determine your risk of suffering a heart attack or other heart problems prior to you experiencing symptoms.
• A coronary calcium score is important because in estimating your risk for heart attack, it can help healthcare professionals determine if further testing is needed, as well as create a treatment plan. Depending on your score, treatment may include lifestyle changes and medication.
• A coronary calcium score is believed to be most useful for people at intermediate risk of heart disease, or those with between a 3 percent and 10 percent chance of developing heart disease within the next five years. A doctor can more easily advise someone at low risk or someone at high risk for heart disease, based on what those designations mean. However a coronary calcium score for someone at intermediate risk can sometimes be helpful in determining just what precautions are necessary.
• A coronary calcium score of 0 means the coronary calcium scan shows no coronary artery disease. A score of between 1 and 10 indicates minimal evidence of coronary heart disease. A score of between 11 and 100 indicates mild evidence of coronary heart disease. A score of between 101 and 400 indicates moderate evidence of coronary heart disease. And a score of greater than 400 indicates extensive evidence of coronary heart disease.
To learn more about heart health and our award-winning, full-service cardiac care contact the Heart Institute at Central Florida Regional Hospital. Visit us online or call our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-800-445-3392 for health information and physician referrals.