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Cardiac Calcium Score
Why Should I Have a Cardiac Score?
Heart Disease is the number one killer of Americans, both men and women. It is very important to keep up with your heart’s health. Over 58 million Americans have one or more forms of cardiovascular disease. A cardiac calcium score can help determine your future heart attack risk. Many people have different risk factors that may make them candidates for a cardiac score exam.
The following are some risk factors for heart disease:
- Men age 45 and over
- Women age 55 and over
- High cholesterol
- History of smoking
- High blood pressure
- High stress levels
- Sedentary lifestyle
You should not have a cardiac score if:
- You have heart stents
- Are already under the care of a cardiologist
What is Cardiac Calcium Scoring?
Cardiac Scoring is a pain-free, non-invasive, and inexpensive procedure that takes only about 10 minutes. After a brief questionnaire, you will lie down on the imaging table while your technologist places a few EKG leads on you. You are then asked to hold your breath while the images are taken. These images are sectional pictures of your heart and show existing calcified plaque in your arteries. Once your exam is complete you can go back to your normal routine and one of our onsite board certified radiologists, using special software, calculates your cardiac score based on the amount of plaque seen. The lower the score, the better the results.
How Should I Prepare for a Cardiac Score Exam?
You or your doctor may call and schedule an exam, but we are required by law to have a doctor’s order before performing the exam in accordance to DHEC regulations. We ask that you refrain from caffeine, nicotine, and exercise at least 2 hours before your appointment. If you have your doctor’s order, please bring it with you. If you are a female of childbearing years, you will be asked if there is any chance you could be pregnant.
You can find the preparation for your exam by clicking Here
Please arrive about 15 minutes before your exam to fill out a brief questionnaire and history form, or you can pre-fill them out online Click Here
What Happens After a Cardiac Score Exam?
Once your score is calculated and interpreted by one of our onsite board certified radiologists we mail you a copy of your results and fax or email a copy to your referring doctor. After the exam, you can resume your normal activities. Should your score total 400 points or more we will call your physician directly so that they get in touch with you and make a plan of action.