- Coronary Calcium Score
The Significance of Coronary Calcium
Pioneering research during the last decade has proven that calcium is a significant marker of atherosclerosis, a process that can be slowed, stabilized or reversed to some degree by aggressive lifestyle modification and medication. This research has conclusively shown that the amount of calcium, scored systematically, is a very powerful predictor of cardiovascular events, more than any other single cardiovascular screening study including conventional blood work. Success in altering the calcium score depends upon early detection and patient compliance with making the applicable changes in lifestyle and habits before a heart attack occurs. Calcification is caused by buildup of fatty streaks in the inner lining of an artery that forms plaque and usually represents about 20% of the plaque burden. Not all patients with plaque have calcium but the calcium score does help predict outcomes.
The plaque can build and harden, eventually calcify and result in reduced blood flow through the artery. When the plaque ruptures due to a clot, blood flow is interrupted and this may result in serious arrhythmias or heart attack, which may cause damage to the heart muscle, affecting the ability to pump blood to the body and ultimately increase the risk of death. The calcium score quantifies the total amount of calcified plaque in all the coronary arteries.
CT Scan - Heart Scan
Accurate Early Detection of Coronary Artery Disease
More than 2,600 Americans die of heart disease each day, one every 33 seconds. Early detection of coronary artery disease enables patients and their physicians to modify risk factors to significantly reduce or even reverse the potential for advanced heart disease.
Cardiovascular Medical Group now offers the “Heart Scan”, a highly accurate, non-invasive procedure for evaluating arterial calcium deposits and risk for myocardial infarction due to plaque formation. This high-speed CT scan permits imaging of coronary blood vessels without injections, IV or disrobing. It is simple, convenient and pain free, enabling patient to quickly know and understand their risk. Either alone or in combinations with exercise testing no other test can predict outcomes better in cardiovascular medicine.
Effective Screening for Patients At Risk
Heart Scan is appropriate for men over 35 and women 40 or older with any of the following risk factors:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- History of tobacco use
- Family history of heart disease
- Significant emotional or job-related stress
Highly Sensitive and Accurate
The Heart Scan offers a sensitivity of at least 95 percent, while treadmill testing, by comparison, provides approximately 80 percent sensitivity in determining future cardiac events. The Heart Scan is not, however, a replacement for exercise testing or other procedures such as angiography or other types of CT scans (CT Coronary Angiography) that are used to evaluate more advanced disease. Your physician will help determine the best type of test necessary based on your needs and particular situation.
Your Partner in Cardiac Care
Cardiovascular Medical Group of Southern California is your supportive partner. For more information about how we can assist you with cardiac diagnosis and treatment such as the Heart Scan or other CT scans, please call Cardiovascular Medical Group of Southern California at 310.278.3400