Cardiac Scoring, also known as heart scan or calcium score, is a non-invasive CT scan of the heart. It calculates your risk of developing Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) by measuring the amount of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries.
Cardiac scoring test result in numbers ranging from 0 to more than 400. This number is called your calicum score and should be discussed with your physician.
What should I expect during my coronary calcium scoring exam?
A coronary calcium scan takes about 15-20 minutes. During the test, you are usually alone in the scanner room but the technologist will watch you through a window. You can talk with the technologist through a two-way intercom.
Small pads or patches called electrodes will be put on your chest that connect to the CT scanner’s internal EKG machine. The EKG records when your heart is in the resting stage, which is the best time for the CT scans to be taken.
The table slides into the round opening of the machine. The scanner moves around your body. The table will move a little every few seconds to take new pictures.
We will ask you to hold your breath for 20 to 30 seconds while pictures of your heart are taken. It is very important to hold completely still while the pictures are taken.
How do I prepare for my coronary calcium scoring exam?
- Wear loose clothes that do not have zippers or snaps. You may need to take off some of your clothes (ie: underwire bras must be removed). If so, you will be given a gown to use during the test. You will need to remove any metal/jewelry that might be in the way of the image area.
- Tell your doctor if you might be pregnant or are pregnant. This test is not done on pregnant women.
The Polyclinic's CT Department is proud to be recognized as an Accredited CT Facility by the American College of Radiology.
To schedule an appointment: Call 206-860-5496 and select option 2.
For general questions, please call 206-329-1760.
Coronary calcium scoring is a cash pay study. Credit card payment only. Payment for coronary calcium scoring cannot be reimbursed by insurance.