A diagnostic medical test called computed tomography (or CAT scan) is a procedure that produces multiple images of the inside of the human body. Cross-sectional images from a CT scan can easily be rearranged in different planes. You can even create three-dimensional images. These images can be viewed on a monitor, printed on film by a 3D printer, or transferred to a CD/DD. CT images of internal organs and bones, soft tissue, and blood vessels offer greater detail than traditional radiographs, especially of soft tissues and blood vessel structures.
A CT scan of the coronary calcium is non-invasive. It provides information about the location, extent, and presence of calcified plaque within the coronary arteries, which are the vessels that supply oxygen-containing blood directly to the heart muscle. Calcified plaque is when fat or other substances build up under the inner layer. This can cause calcification, also known as coronary disease (CAD). This disease increases the risk of heart attacks in people who have it. Plaque buildup over time can cause the narrowing of the arteries and even stop blood flow to the heart. This can lead to chest pain (sometimes called ” Angina” or a heart attack.
Calcium is a marker for CAD, so the ct calcium score detected in a coronary CT scan can be a prognosticator. A calcium score is the result of CT scans. This test can also be called coronary artery calcium scoring.
Calcium Scoring Has Many Benefits
The coronary calcium score is the only non-invasive test that can detect or rule out heart disease in healthy people. The new standard for stratifying heart risk is the coronary calcium score. Numerous clinical studies covering more than 20,000 years of patient observation have shown their superiority to other risk assessment methods like blood pressure and cholesterol screening. It is five times more accurate than any other risk assessment method in predicting who is at the highest risk of developing coronary artery disease. The calcium score helps to identify patients who need cholesterol-lowering therapy more accurately, which can help reduce the number of costly, unnecessary medications.
Information About Your CAC Score
A calcium score, also known as an Agatston score, is calculated using the CT scan’s plaque count. You may also be able to convert it into a percentile rank depending on your gender and age. Your doctor will receive the results of your coronary calcium scoring. Your calcium score will determine your likelihood of suffering from heart disease or having a heart attack. Your risk of having a heart attack or developing a cardiac condition is lower if you have a lower calcium score and percentile ranking than other people your age.
Calcium Score Results
This test is designed to help you understand your risk of developing a heart attack or other severe illness and to provide information that will allow you to make informed decisions about preventive or corrective actions. Your doctor might recommend lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and eating healthier. Your doctor will recommend more treatment if your score is higher than 0. A Starling cardiologist can help you if you have high scores. They are all experts in treating coronary artery disease.
Here’s How Scoring Works
Zero: No plaque. The risk of a heart attack is shallow.
1-10: Very little plaque. Your chance of developing heart disease is less than 10%, so your chances of suffering a heart attack are low.
11-100: Some plaque. Your risk of having a heart attack is moderate. Your doctor might recommend additional treatment, including lifestyle changes.
101-400: A moderate amount of plaque. Plaque may block an artery, and you have heart disease. The chance of suffering a heart attack ranges from mild to high. Your doctor may recommend additional tests or may begin treatment.
A plaque containing more than 400: There is a greater than 90% chance that plaque has blocked one of your arteries—a high risk of a heart attack. Your doctor will request additional tests before you start treatment.