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Diagnostic Radiology

Coronary Calcium Scoring

What is Coronary Calcium Scoring?

A cardiac CT scan for coronary calcium is a pain-free, non-invasive and inexpensive procedure that provides information about the presence, location, and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries – the vessels that supply blood to the heart wall. Plaque is the build-up of fat and other substances, including calcium. Over time, they can narrow the arteries or even close off blood flow to the heart. The result may lead to painful angina or a heart attack.

 

The amount of calcified plaque detected on a Cardiac CT scan is used to establish your calcium score. The score, based on age, gender and other risk factors, is a strong indicator of your risk of Coronary Artery Disease. In general, a high score indicates a greater plaque load and an increased risk of a heart attack. Early detection is key.

 

Read our overview of Coronary Artery Disease to understand the risks and treatments involved.

 


Calcium Score Guidelines
Total Score Plaque Burden Risk Category
    0 None Very Low
    1-10 Minimal Low
    11-100 Mild Moderate
    101-400 Moderate Moderate
    Over 400 Extensive
High

How is the CT calcium score performed?

You will be asked to lie on your back on the CT exam table for approximately 10 minutes. ECG leads are attached to your chest in order for the scanner to record the electrical activities of your heart. You are then asked to hold your breath while the images are recorded. You may resume normal activities following your exam. One of our radiologists that are specially trained to supervise and interpret the radiology exams, will review the images and send a report to you, and to your referring doctor.

CAC Distribution in Women & Men

CAC Distribution in Men vs Age

  CAC = 0 CAC = 1 – 80 CAC = 81 – 400 CAC = >400
<30    
30-34    
35-39      
40-44      
45-49        
50-54        
55-59        
60-64        
65-69        
>70        

100%

90%

80%

70%

60%

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

0%

 

CAC Distribution in Women vs Age

  CAC = 0 CAC = 1 – 80 CAC = 81 – 400 CAC = >400
<30    
30-34    
35-39    
40-44      
45-49      
50-54        
55-59        
60-64        
65-69        
>70        

100%

90%

80%

70%

60%

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

0%

 

Pricing

A cardiac CT scan is not covered by most insurance plans. We offer this imaging service, including the physician’s interpretation at a cost of $150.00.

ContraindicationsPregnancy, pacemaker, coronary stent, bypass graft and in some cases orthopedic hardware in the mid or lower T spine.

Test Prep

No tobacco, coffee, caffeinated soda, or chocolate for 6 hours prior to your test. No vigorous exercise for 6 hours prior to your test. Eat and take medications as normal.

Service Locations

For Coronary Artery Disease diagnostics in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, or Alamogordo visit one of our imaging centers at 
Alamogordo Imaging Center, El Camino Imaging Center ( Albuquerque ), Northwest Imaging Center (Westside of Albuquerque), and X-Ray Associates at Santa Fe.

Accreditations

ACR Radiology - logo1 ACR Radiology - logo2 ACR Radiology - logo3 ACR Radiology - logo4 ACR Radiology - logo5 ACR Radiology - logo6 ACR Radiology - logo7 ACR Radiology - logo8 ACR Radiology - logo9
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