Coronary Calcium Scan
One of the most insightful tests regarding the risk of heart disease is a Coronary Calcium Scan. This test is targeted to people without any known heart disease or cardiac symptoms but with a strong family history of heart disease, borderline abnormal glucose, high cholesterol and borderline high blood pressure where additional information may help clarify risk and influence treatment decisions. At Henry Ford, a physician referral is required because the test exposes the patient to small amounts of radiation.
For the Coronary Calcium Scan, patients lay under a CT scanner, and doctors are able to see the accumulation of calcium in the arteries of the heart. No contrast agent is needed for this test. Everything is completed in less than 15 minutes. The scan determines if calcified plaques (a form of cholesterol buildup) are accumulating in arteries of the heart, and if additional testing is needed to detect dangerous blockages. Seeing areas of calcium in the heart often inspires patients to make the right lifestyle choices, such as stop smoking, begin exercising, get more sleep, reduce stress and lose weight – all contributing factors to heart disease. For more information on whether you would benefit from this test, please talk to your physician or cardiologist.