Coronary calcium scans use a special X-ray test called computed tomography (CT) to check for the build-up of calcium in plaque on the walls of the arteries of the heart (coronary arteries). This test is used to check for heart disease in an early stage and to determine how severe it is.
A heart scan is generally considered useful for people who have a known moderate risk of heart disease or when the risk is uncertain. There are different tools for an initial risk assessment, but all of them use factors, such as your age, sex, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and tobacco use.
Because of the use of radiation for CT scans, CT heart scans are generally not recommended for the following people:
- Men under age 40 and women under age 50, because detectable calcium at younger ages is not likely
- People who have a low risk, because detectable calcium is highly unlikely, in the absence of family history of heart attacks at early age
- People who already have a known high risk, because the heart scan will likely not provide any additional information to guide treatment decisions
- People who already have symptoms or a diagnosis of heart disease, because the procedure would not help doctors better understand the disease progression or risk
At Ascot Radiology, Level One.
The results will be sent through to your Cardiologist, who will either ask to see you in follow-up or write you a letter.
The Cardiologist will request a follow-up appointment to discuss this with you.