2

votes

What is a "calcium score" and are they expensive?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 13, 2011 at 1:10 AM

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.)

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on July 13, 2011
at 03:02 AM

plus one.........

Medium avatar

(39831)

on July 13, 2011
at 02:18 AM

Probably unnecessary ionizing radiation for most unless you're in a high risk category.

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1 Answers

4
Ac7e4cfd5aebc7ac2ee3a29490c94554

(40)

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.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on July 13, 2011
at 03:02 AM

plus one.........

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