The coronary artery calcium score (also known as CT calcium score) is a measurement of the amount of calcium in the walls of the arteries that supply your heart muscle, using Computed Tomography (CT) technology.
Calcium scoring does not measure how narrow the arteries are, rather it is a way of looking at the overall amount of cardiac plaque present, which can help predict your risk of a future cardiac event.
Your doctor will use the calcium score to decide whether you are at low, normal or high risk of a future heart attack and give you guidance on how to reduce your risk.
Please continue your regular medication as normal. However please inform us if you are taking any diabetic medication, have kidney disease or have had a previous reaction to imaging contrast.
You will need to avoid any caffeine and smoking 24 hours prior to exam and cease exercise on the day of the examination. You will be given a beta-blocker drug upon presentation to our practice, to slow the heart and keep it at a steady beat, prior to imaging.
You may be asked to change into a gown and/or remove jewellery.
ECG leads will be placed onto the chest to allow monitoring of the heart rate during the examination.
You will lie on a table which is slowly moved into the doughnut shaped CT unit and scanning will take place at a time where optimal visualisation of the heart can be achieved. Detectors capture the x-rays passing through the examined area for the computer to interpret into images.
Our Radiologist will review the images and issue a report. Once completed, the report will be sent electronically to your referring health professional.
You will receive a small dose of x-ray radiation.
This examination is not suitable for pregnant women. Breastfeeding mothers may undergo the procedure, but will need to cease breastfeeding for 12 hours after the scan. Breast milk should be expressed and discarded during this period. Breast feeding may resume after the 12 hours.
Please allow up to 1 hour.