A calcium score is a cardiology imaging test that checks for advanced signs of atherosclerosis. This test can provide useful information about your risk of heart disease and heart attack, so it’s included in your Cardia Vision Scan at Cardia Vision, LLC. in Bellevue, Washington. Experienced board-certified radiologist Kimberly Brockenbrough, MD, uses the latest CT scan technology to perform these important preventive tests in a comfortable and safe environment. Book your appointment by phone or through online scheduling.
A coronary calcium scan is one way to tell whether you have atherosclerosis — fatty deposits lining your heart blood vessels. The calcium score number represents how much calcium you have in your heart blood vessels.
Calcium measurement is important because calcification occurs with severe atherosclerosis, which puts you at high risk for life-threatening emergencies, including heart attack and stroke.
A calcium score of zero means there’s no calcification detected in your coronary blood vessels, so the lower your calcium score, the better. As your score increases, so does the likelihood that you have heart disease.
A high calcium score, in the 600 range, means it’s likely you have narrowed arteries and significantly restricted blood flow to and from your heart.
A calcium score is an important metric if you’re dealing with end-stage coronary artery atherosclerosis. It can tell you exactly how much calcification you have, and can accurately predict your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other complications of heart disease.
However, a calcium score only tells part of the story regarding your coronary arteries. It can’t tell you whether you have blocked arteries, nor can a coronary calcium scan identify pre-calcification forms of plaque (fatty and fibrous plaque).
Another kind of cardiology imaging, a coronary CT angiogram, can reveal even the earliest signs of plaque within your coronary arteries, and it can also show blood vessel blockages.
The main difference between a coronary CT angiogram and calcium score is the contrast dye used with the angiogram to show details of your blood vessels on an X-ray. For Dr. Brockenbrough to accurately see your blood vessels in 3D, she must perform the angiogram.
A Cardia Vision Scan includes both a coronary calcium scan and a coronary CT angiogram, giving you a comprehensive heart health assessment.
A calcium score can play an important role in preventive heart health, so don’t hesitate to schedule this simple exam at age 50 for men and age 60 for women.
For preventive cardiac imaging that’s easy and convenient, call the Cardia Vision, LLC. office or click the online booking tool.