I'm looking to get into my cardio status in a way that gets past the usual numbers and find out more. I have seen mention made to this calcium scoring thing and that it's not expensive, but I wouldn't know how to go about getting it done.
Thanks for your help, guys.
(PS - I used the SEARCH function and did not find a comparable question from the past, though that could be due to my inability to search well.)
asked byKirik_Jenness (1293)
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on July 13, 2011
at 01:33 AM
Calcium score is derived from a low radiation dose CT scan of the heart that picks up calcium deposits in arteries, from which a standardized score is derived, which can in turn be compared with the population by age and sex. Calcium levels in the arteries are highly correlated with atherosclerosis.
Deriving such a score is useful as it: is a relatively cheap test ($200 or thereabouts); involves a low radiation dose; can consistently measure the evolution of cardiac risk over time via serial scans; and gives very few false positives or negatives (around 1%). Most CT scanning centers can do the scan and is usually re-imbursed by insurers.
Some cardiologists prefer ECG stress tests followed by CT angiography, if warranted. Be careful, however, particularly if they are selling stenting procedures and ask you for a release before the scan!
www.trackyourplaque.com is probably a good web source regarding such scans. The management of this site do not have any commercial interest in calcium scanning.