CT Calcium Score (CTCS)
Cardiac Services Infoline

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What is a CT calcium score?

A CT calcium score, or CTCS, evaluates the amount of plaque that has built up in your heart vessels, a symptom which is a strong indicator of coronary heart disease. The level of calcium recorded during the CT scan has direct equivalence to the extent of any plaque build-up in your arteries. 

The calcium score is an important health indicator as it helps your doctor understand whether you are at risk of a heart attack, stroke, or heart disease – particularly if there are no other signs that place you at high or low risk. It is especially helpful for those patients at increased risk of heart disease through a family history or lifestyle choices, but who may be without symptoms. The results of the CT calcium score test can help determine whether any treatment is necessary.

How does is it work?

To obtain the calcium score, patients are referred for a CT cardiac scan where special X-ray equipment is used to scan the heart and produce detailed pictures of the coronary arteries. The aim of the procedure is to determine if there is any indication of coronary artery disease, and to what degree it is present. 

A negative calcium score shows there is no calcification in the coronary arteries, whereas a positive calcium score means that there is some calcium present. The amount of calcification identified can help to predict the likelihood of heart disease, a heart attack, or a stroke in the future.

Why do I need it?

CTCS testing is often recommended by doctors as a screening test for patients experiencing some chest pains, but also those patients at risk of coronary heart disease even though they may not display any clinical symptoms. This risk group includes:

  • Patients with a family history of heart disease
  • Overweight patients
  • Middle-aged adults at some risk of heart disease
  • Patients with borderline high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes
  • Smokers
  • Inactive patients

What does it test for? What does it show?

CT calcium score testing is a non-invasive procedure that tests for the presence of calcium. The amount of calcification detected has a direct correlation to the amount of plaque build-up in the coronary arteries and can indicate the potential risk of heart disease. The test score can range from zero to 10,000 with zero being a normal calcium score. This CT calcium score demonstrates there was no calcification found in your coronary arteries and therefore a very low risk of heart problems. Any calcium score above 100 indicates mild proof of coronary heart disease, whereas scoring above 400 indicates strong proof of the disease.

What's next?

If you have been experiencing heart-related symptoms, book an appointment with our cardiac services specialist today.

Have questions?

Unsure about your next steps? Get in touch today, we’re here to help.

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