Open Accessibility Menu

CT Coronary Calcium Screening, Do You Need It?

CT Coronary Calcium Screening, Do You Need It?

It’s common to hear that calcium is good for your bones.

But, that’s not the case when it comes to your heart.

Coronary arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart. When there’s a buildup of plaque, made up of calcium and other substances, it can narrow or close the arteries. These calcifications can form in many places throughout the body, including small and large arteries and heart valves, which can be a sign of heart disease.

“Most often, the more calcified plaque in a patient’s arteries, the higher the risk they have for a heart attack or other cardiovascular events,” said James Karas, MD, Cardiologist at Archbold Memorial Hospital.

That’s why it’s often recommended that patients have a coronary calcium screening scan to look for calcium buildup in the coronary arteries.

“The purpose of the coronary calcium screening is to help patients understand their risk of heart attack or heart disease, and to educate them on preventive measures,” said Karas.

Using a computed tomography (CT) scan, doctors can detect and measure calcium-containing plaque in the arteries, which can be a better predictor of coronary events like a heart attack compared to a cholesterol screening or other risk factors assessments.

“A score is calculated based on the amount of plaque observed in the scan,” said Karas. “Depending on the score, we may make recommendations for lifestyle changes or further workup.”

Patients with a moderate risk of heart disease, or those who have a family history of heart attacks, can benefit from a calcium screening.

If you think you may benefit from a screening, please call 229.228.2084 to schedule an appointment. No physician order required.