CT Coronary Calcium Score
A Computerised Tomography (CT) Coronary Calcium Score is a non-invasive medical test to obtain information about the presence, location and extent of calcified plaque in the walls of the coronary arteries — the vessels that supply oxygen-containing blood to the heart muscle. Calcified plaque builds up when there is an accumulation of fat and other substances under the inner layer of the artery. Over time, the progression of plaque formation can narrow the arteries and obstruct blood flow to the heart, resulting in chest pain, sometimes called ‘angina’, and heart attack.
A CT Coronary Calcium Score is, therefore, a helpful indicator for atherosclerosis, a disease of the vessel wall, also called coronary artery disease (CAD), even if there are no symptoms. The results estimate the risk of a heart attack in the next 5–10 years. A high calcium score does not mean that you will have a heart attack, only that there is a greater likelihood of having one than someone with a low score. This can help determine if you will need further investigation(s) to prevent a major cardiac event. Even a person with a score of zero could have a heart attack.
Who will benefit from the Coronary Artery Calcium Score?
- Women aged between 35 and 70 years
- Men aged between 40 and 60 years
- Patients outside these age ranges do not have any value in assessing the risk.
Who will not benefit from a Coronary Artery Calcium Score?Those who have already had a heart attack, coronary bypass surgery or a coronary artery stent. These events have already indicated a high risk. A calcium score cannot be used to see if any treatment is working or not.