Cardiac CT (computed tomography) for calcium scoring is an exam that uses X-rays and a computer to generate detailed images of the coronary arteries. The images are then analyzed intensively by another sophisticated computer program to detect and quantify evidence of calcium deposits in the arteries.
If no evidence of calcium deposits is found, the test is considered “a negative exam.” However, since deposits in the coronary artery may be in the form of soft, noncalcified plaque, the absence of calcified deposits does not rule out coronary artery disease. If calcium deposits are found, a numeric score, which estimates the extent of coronary disease, is assigned. Higher scores indicate an increased risk of heart attack in the coming years.
Cardiac CT for calcium scoring is a fast, painless, noninvasive method of evaluating possible heart attack risk. The exam does not require the injection of contrast material.
The exam is painless, involves no injections and only takes a few minutes to perform.