A Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring CT Scan takes pictures of the heart. The pictures are more detailed than a typical x-ray. The pictures focus on the arteries supplying blood to the heart (coronary arteries). In the early stages of heart disease, calcium along with soft plaque may accumulate within the walls of the coronary arteries. The Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring CT Scan can detect and measure the extent of the calcium deposits in the coronary arteries. This may help determine an early diagnosis of heart disease. Your doctor will use this information to determine the best treatment for you.
Preparing for the Test
There is no specific preparation for this test.
During the Test
The radiology technologist will explain the Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring CT Scan to you before you start. Ask questions if you don't understand. Before the test you will need to remove all clothing and jewelry from the waist up. You will be given a hospital gown to wear. You will be asked to lie on the CT scan table. You will have EKG leads placed on your chest to monitor your heart. The technologist will give you instructions during the test. You will also be asked to hold your breath and lie still for 10 to 12 seconds while the CT scanner takes pictures of your heart. The CT scan is not painful but does provide a small amount of radiation exposure.
Length of the Test
A Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring CT Scan takes about 20 minutes. This includes 15 minutes for the test and 5 minutes for preparation.
Day of the Test
Your appointment is in the Institute for Advanced Biomedical Imaging (Radiology). You will be directed where to go when you check in. If you have any questions you can contact Advanced Biomedical Imaging (Radiology) at 303.398.1611.
This information has been approved by Will Cook, ARRT, MA and Eric Yager, ARRT, BS (February 2012).