Coronary Calcium Scoring

What is a Coronary Calcium Scoring Exam?

A Cardiac CT scan is a non-invasive way of obtaining information about the location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries—the vessels that supply oxygen-containing blood to the heart wall. Plaque is a build-up of fat and other substances, including calcium, which can, over time, narrow the arteries or even close off blood flow to the heart. The result may be painful angina in the chest or a heart attack.

Because calcium is a marker of coronary artery disease, the amount of calcium detected on a cardiac CT scan is a helpful diagnostic tool. The findings on Cardiac CT are expressed as a calcium score. Another name for this test is Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring. Calcium Scoring allows your doctor to find out how much of this buildup is present so they can recommend the appropriate next step to ensure your overall health. 

Uses of Coronary Calcium Scoring Exams

The goal of cardiac CT for calcium scoring is to detect coronary artery disease (CAD) at an early stage when there are no symptoms and to determine its severity. It is a screening study that may be recommended by a physician for patients with risk factors for CAD but no clinical symptoms. The procedure is most often suggested for men aged 45 years or older and for women who are aged 55 and above or who are postmenopausal. The major risk factors for CAD, other than age, are:

  • Abnormally high blood cholesterol levels
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Physically inactive

Before You Arrive

Save time! To expedite your check in process, we offer online Patient Registration. Not much preparation is needed before undergoing a cardiac scoring-CT scan procedure. You will be asked to refrain from smoking and caffeine for at least four hours before the exam. 

After the Exam

Once your scan is complete, a Radiologist will examine the images. Your physician will receive the images and report via PACS and fax. Contact your physician directly to discuss your results.

Schedule an Appointment

We invite you to experience the UCI difference. With two locations to serve you, University Center Imaging has the specialized staff necessary to assist with all your imaging needs. Schedule your appointment today with a member of the UCI Scheduling Team.