You may have heard your doctor talk about a “calcium score” test. This test is also called a cardiac CT scan, coronary artery calcium scan, or electron beam computed tomography (EBCT) scan. A calcium score test uses special x-ray equipment to produce pictures of the coronary arteries, the arteries that supply blood to your heart. The test can show if you have calcium in your coronary arteries. Calcium is often a sign of plaque build-up. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. Plaque build-up narrows the coronary arteries and reduces blood flow to the heart. This can lead to chest pain (angina), a heart attack, or even death. Here some terms,
- Find coronary artery disease (CAD) early: CAD is a condition in which plaque build-up narrows the coronary arteries. The test can help find CAD before symptoms develop.
- Guide treatment: If the test shows that you have CAD, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes or medicine to treat the condition. Some lifestyle changes that may help prevent or treat CAD include eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and getting regular exercise.
- Quick and painless: The test takes about 10 minutes. You will lie on a table while the x-ray machine moves around you. You may be asked to hold your breath for a short time during the test.
- There is no special preparation needed: A calcium score test in Millburn, NJ is a non-invasive way to detect the presence of plaque in the arteries. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, and calcium. Plaque can narrow the arteries and reduce blood flow to the heart.
- Test is not perfect: The test may not show CAD in its early stages. Also, the test may show calcium in arteries that are not diseased. This is called false positive results.
- Covered by most insurance: The calcium score test is a non-invasive way to detect coronary artery disease. It is used to find out if you are at risk for a heart attack. The test is covered by most insurance plans.
Calcium score tests are important tools for detecting and diagnosing heart disease. They help doctors to determine a person’s risk of developing heart problems in the future and to make decisions about treatment.