Coronary Calcium Scoring

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Coronary Calcium Scoring
(CT heart scan)

Coronary Calcium Scoring (cardiac CT) is a non-invasive method that aims to quantify the extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries. This test uses a high-resolution 64-slice CT Scanner coupled to an ECG and a sophisticated software to measure the amount of calcium accumulated in the patient’s coronary arteries.

The test takes about 20 minutes. Preparation for this exam requires that you abstain from exercise 24 hours before the Coronary Calcium Scoring and from smoking or consuming caffeine-containing beverages 12 hours before the exam. In addition, 4 hours before the exam you must take a pill that stabilizes your cardiac rhythm.

Coronary Calcium Scoring does not require injection of contrast. The calcium score is proportional to the size and density of calcified plaques present in the coronary arteries. The higher the score, the higher is the risk of suffering a heart attack leading to death. The Coronary Calcium Scoring test adds information to the patient’s already known risk factors for cardiac disease, enabling the physician to better assess the extent of the necessary treatment of these factors in order to minimize the risk of a heart attack.

The Coronary Calcium Scoring test allows not only to detect the presence of calcified plaques in your coronary arteries but also to evaluate their quantity (mild, moderate or severe) based on your age. Medical studies have shown a direct correlation between the presence of calcified plaques in the coronary arteries and the occurrence of coronary heart disease such as angina and heart attack. A normal result of your stress test (treadmill ECG) does not mean that you do not have atheromatous plaques in your coronary arteries.

Risk Factors

The risk factors for atherosclerosis include age, hypertension, smoking, diabetes, obesity, high LDL cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol, family history, a sedentary lifestyle, etc.

It is therefore important that you and your doctor know that in addition to traditional coronary risk factors known, calcium scoring is one of the few tests that allow direct evaluation of the coronary arteries to identify the presence of disease, unlike most other tests that have only an indirect association with coronary disease. The prescription of a calcium scoring test by your doctor will allow you to know more about the state of your coronary arteries and to better assess your risk of ˝heart attack˝ in the short and medium term.

If you have a prescription for a Coronary Calcium Scoring test, you can call 514 747-5995 to book an appointment. We will quickly forward your results to your physician.

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