Know Your Risk for Heart Disease
Coronary artery disease is the most common heart disease in both men and women. Please call the WHS Central Scheduling Department at (940) 539-8000 to learn more or schedule your appointment today!
What is a Calcium Score Screening?
A coronary calcium score screening includes advanced, noninvasive heart scanning techniques for detecting coronary artery disease (CAD), the leading cause of heart attacks in the United States.
Advanced technology is used to obtain X-ray images of the heart and its vessels (more detailed than conventional X-rays). These images allow a physician to determine your risk for CAD.
Wise Health System has received the Gold Seal as a CT Accredited Facility, and also is recognized as a Accredited Chest Pain Center.
What is Coronary Artery Disease?
Coronary artery disease (CAD) can be defined as plaque build up and narrowing of your arteries, also called atherosclerosis. These plaques are made of fat, cholesterol and calcium.
Why Check for Coronary Artery Disease?
Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of heart attacks in the United States. Although advanced stages of CAD are easier to detect and often show symptoms, many individuals with CAD show no signs of the disease for decades until a “sudden” heart attack occurs.
Cardiac calcium screenings can detect the earliest signs of CAD. They can also detect:
- Diagnose coronary artery disease
- Gauge the severity of heart disease
- Predict if you are at risk of symptoms of CAD
Who Should Get a Cardiac Calcium Score Screening?
A coronary calcium score screening is recommended for men age 45 & over, and women age 55 & over. If one or more of your relatives has CAD, then testing may be performed or recommended for younger patients.
What is Involved with a Coronary Calcium Scoring?
- A heart scan, typically done in minutes
- Computerized tomography (CT) scan will show any calcium along the artery walls
- No medication, cutting or needles are involved
What is the CT Scan Experience Like?
With only a few electrodes attached to your chest, you will slide into the CT scanner. Next, while being asked to hold your breath for a few seconds, the machine will take images of your heart. Within minutes you will have a heart attack risk score and be able to start treatment if necessary.
How Does the CT Scan Detect CAD?
A detailed image generating device rotates around your body and a very powerful computer creates cross-sectional images of the inside of your body. The calcium deposits show up as bright white spots on the scan.
How is the Calcium Score Interpreted?
The more plaque you have lining the arteries of your heart the higher your score. The chance of having a heart attack increases with a higher score. This knowledge can help you start treatment to lower chances of a heart attack immediately. Starting with techniques like: eating well, increased exercise and smoking cessation.