A simple test may predict heart disease before symptoms even start...
Cardiac CT scan for coronary calcium is a non-invasive way of obtaining information about the presence, location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries-the vessels that supply oxygen-containing blood to the heart muscle. Calcified plaque results when there is a build-up of fat and other substances under the inner layer of the artery. This material can calcify which signals the presence of atherosclerosis, a disease of the vessel wall, also called coronary artery disease (CAD). People with this disease have an increased risk for heart attacks. In addition, over time, progression of plaque build up (CAD) can narrow the arteries or even close off blood flow to the heart. The result may be chest pain, also sometimes called “angina” in the chest or a heart attack.
The findings on cardiac CT are expressed as a calcium score. A score of 1-10 indicates minimal evidence while a score over 400 indicates extensive evidence of CAD.
Cardiac CT for calcium scoring is a convenient and noninvasive way of evaluating whether you may be at increased risk for a heart attack.
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