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Coronary Calcium Screening CT Scan

To schedule an appointment for a Coronary Calcium Screening CT Scan, call (402) 481-5121 or (800) 283-2810.


What is a Coronary Calcium Screening CT Scan?

Coronary Calcium Screening CT Scans can identify the presence of coronary disease before the trouble begins.

Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in the United States in both men and women, and treatment of coronary artery disease consumes a major share of health care expenditures in this country. The presence of coronary artery disease is usually not discovered until the person develops symptoms such as chest pain, has an abnormal response to stress testing, has a heart attack, or sudden cardiac death occurs. The arteriosclerosis which causes coronary artery disease is a gradual process, present but silent until a fairly advanced stage.

The presence of even small amounts of calcification in the coronary artery wall is a definite indication of the presence of arteriosclerotic plaque. This calcification can be detected and quantified using a multi-slice CT scanner. This special type of CT scanner provides the lowest dose of radiation for this procedure and is available at Bryan Medical Center. The extent of calcification identified in the coronary arteries with this scanner correlates with the extent of coronary disease and also correlates with the risk of developing a serious cardiac event. This CT scanner technology provides a noninvasive way to detect the presence and extent of coronary artery disease before symptoms appear, so measures can be taken to retard progression of the arteriosclerosis and to prevent life-threatening cardiac events.


What is the procedure like?

The screening procedure is painless, requires no injections, and patients can wear their everyday clothes during the test. A technologist will apply ECG leads to the patient's chest to synchronize the scan to the beating heart and will ask the patient to hold his or her breath for about 15 seconds. During this short breath hold, the imaging system takes as many as 100 pictures of the coronary arteries.

 

Is it expensive?

No! At Bryan Health, this test costs $119. It is far less costly than the consequences of an untreated heart condition.

 

Who is a candidate for a Coronary Calcium Screening CT Scan?

A cardiac scan for coronary calcium should be considered for males, age 35-70, and females age 40-70, who have not had a heart attack or previously documented coronary artery disease, and who have one or more of the following major risk factors for developing coronary disease:

  • Total cholesterol over 200
  • LDL "bad" cholesterol over 130
  • HDL "good" cholesterol below 40
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • History of blocked arteries in the legs or pain in the calves when walking
  • History of stroke

  • Family history of premature coronary disease (parent, grandparent or sibling with heart attack or other coronary event before age 65)

To schedule an appointment for a Coronary Calcium Screening CT Scan, call (402) 481-5121 or (800)283-2810.

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