Cardiac Calcium Scoring

Cardiac calcium scoring can help detect a buildup of plaque in your coronary arteries that may lead to a heart attack. Knowing you're at a higher risk of heart attack can help you make changes to reverse damage and lower your risk. 

Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States, but many people don't know they have it until it's already advanced. Even before you start having symptoms, plaque may be forming in the coronary arteries, raising your risk of a future heart attack.

NHRMC offers cardiac calcium scoring, which uses a painless CT scan to look inside the coronary arteries and detect the buildup of calcified plaque. This information is then used to assess your risk for future heart attack and develop a plan.

Who Should Have a Cardiac Calcium Scoring Screening

If you have one or more of the following risk factors for coronary artery disease, speak to your physician about a Cardiac Calcium Scoring study.

  • Abnormally high blood cholesterol levels
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Overweight or obese
  • Physically inactive

What to Expect 

This simple test will take just a few minutes. You will be asked to lay on the CT table, and a registered technologist will help position you and attach cardiac electrodes to monitor your heart rate. You will be asked to bring your arms above your heart and hold your breath for a few seconds during the scan.

Before your scan you should inform the technologist:

  • If you have pacemaker
  • If there is a chance you may be pregnant

Getting Your Screening Results 

A board certified radiologist will assess the amount of calcified plaque in your arteries and send a comprehensive report to you and your physician. This report outlines the extent of any existing coronary artery disease and relative risk of having a heart attack.

Together, you and your physician can review your results and make a plan to address any risk factors and make any changes to help lower your risks.

Out-of-Pocket Charge for Cardiac Calcium Scoring

A physician order is required for cardiac calcium scoring. The test is not covered by insurance, therefore payment of $100 either by check or credit card is due before your scan.

Cost includes the CT scan, radiologist’s interpretation, and comprehensive report.