Calcium Scoring at Global Diagnostics
Do you know your Coronary Calcium Score? Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in Australia and is caused by a slow build-up of fatty deposits on the inner walls of the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart muscles. It’s known as atherosclerosis, and these fatty plaques can become significant enough to reduce blood flow to the heart muscles and cause angina (chest pain) or heart attack. A large portion of Cardiovascular disease events are preventable by appropriate population-level interventions and individual management of risk.
Did you know that plaque build-up begins when people are young and can become more advanced by middle age. Therefore knowing your risk is important as it may allow individuals time to make positive lifestyle choices in protecting their heart.
Facts of Coronary Calcium Scoring:
- CT coronary calcium scoring is a non-invasive test that estimates the amount of plaque within an individuals coronary arteries using a high-resolution CT scanner. It is worth noting that this examination is fast, requires little preparation and does not require any injections of x-ray contrast.
- CT coronary calcium scoring is the most robust predictor of coronary events in the asymptomatic population, particularly those already at intermediate-risk. It has been shown to be a superior predictor when compared to other combinations of risk factors such as the Framingham Score (Hecht, 2015).
- Coronary Calcium Scoring improves patient adherence to medication and lifestyle changes.
- The absence of coronary calcification on CT has a high negative predictive value for ruling out the presence of atherosclerosis and is the only method available to monitor treatment efficacy/failure, short of waiting for an event.
- Calcium in the coronary arteries should no longer be ignored during routine chest CT examinations and the Radiologist may recommend formal CT coronary calcium scoring.
If you have family history of coronary artery disease or you believe you are at moderate risk of developing coronary heart disease please consult your doctor.
For more information on the examination as well as bookings, please call our South West Health Campus site who offers this service on 9726 6999.