Ultrafast CT Screening of the Heart

CT Heart Screening

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What is a CT Heart Screening?

Image of Calcified Coronary PlaqueCT Heart Screening, also known as cardiac calcium scoring, is a quick and non-invasive CT scan with a proven ability to detect calcified (hard) plaque, indicating coronary artery disease. Plaque build-up in the arteries can cause heart attacks that often occur without warning. CT Heart Screening measures any calcified plaque in the heart and then assigns it a score. A positive score is the primary indicator of future heart problems. Patients with higher scores have a greater risk of heart attack, heart disease, or stroke. Knowing your score can help your healthcare provider determine appropriate medication and lifestyle changes that will minimize your risk as much as possible.

Who should have a CT Heart Screening?
  • Men and women with the following risk factors:
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • High levels of stress
  • Current or history of smoking
  • Family history of heart disease or heart attack
  • Overweight
  • Diabetes
What does my cardiac score mean?

Categories of Calcium Score

Diagram of Plaque Buildup in the arteries

What is the preparation for a CT Heart Screening?

We recommend no caffeine, nicotine, or exercise the morning of your appointment. These small adjustments can help to keep your heart rate lower for the test. Increased heart rates may affect the imaging. If you have done any of these on the morning of your appointment, your technologist can still evaluate your heart rate to determine if it is within the limits needed for imaging.

What should I expect during the screening exam?

During the exam, you will lay flat on the CT scan table, which moves quickly through the CT scanner. Then, you will need to remain still and hold your breath for a few seconds. In less than a minute, the CT scanner acquires a series of images of your heart.

What happens after my screening exam?

One of our board-certified radiologists will review your images. A report of your results will be sent to your healthcare provider, who will be able to interpret your score in the context of other essential factors such as age, gender, medical history, and other risk factors for heart disease. It’s important to discuss any score above zero with your healthcare provider.

Is this exam covered by insurance?  What is the cost?

CT Heart Screening may be covered by some insurance carriers (an order from your healthcare provider is required). The exam is available at a cost of $107 for uninsured and self-paying patients (no order is required).

Note: CT Heart Screening is NOT for patients with heart bypass or stents.
Schedule Online or By Phone:  239-936-4068 or 941-255-7945