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Cardiac Calcium Scoring

Request An Appointment or Refer a Patient | Call 866.WMC.HEART or 866.962.4327

What is Calcium Scoring? Why is it Important?

A calcium scoring test is a non-invasive, safe, accurate and quick way to determine if you’re at risk of a heart attack and cardiac disease, a leading cause of death in the United States. This exam is now available through your cardiologist at WMCHealth Physicians.

The test is a CT (computer tomography) scan that measures calcium in the heart’s arteries. The amount is assigned a number, “the score,” which represents the amount of calcified plaque present in each coronary artery. While it doesn’t estimate the percent obstruction of a blood vessel, the score is a powerful predictor of risk for heart attack or death. The exam takes just five minutes. Results are typically available in 24 to 48 hours.

Call 866.WMC.HEART or 866.962.4327 to schedule.

The Power of Zero: Interpreting Your Calcium Score

A scale is used to identify the risk of heart disease. Your doctor will provide a plain-talk explanation regarding the results.

Zero
The Power of Zero means no calcified plaque and only a tiny risk of heart disease in the absence of other strong risk factors.

One to 100
Low risk for a heart attack or other cardiovascular events. About 40 to 60 percent of patients are in this range. Cholesterol-lowering medications may be an option.

100 to 400
A moderate risk of heart attack is present. Lifestyle changes, cholesterol medication, and perhaps a baby aspirin are often recommended.

400 or higher
An increased likelihood of significant coronary disease, indicating the need to control risk factors to avoid or reduce complications. Aggressive action to lower cholesterol is crucial, often along with baby aspirin, other cardiac medications, and stress testing, which can check for severe coronary blockages.

Why Schedule a Calcium Scoring Test?

  • Calcium scoring is recommended in American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association heart-health guidelines. Early detection is the key to prevention.
  • A family history of heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure Typically, blockages obstruct more than 75 percent of a coronary artery before they can cause symptoms or be detected by stress testing. Calcium scoring indicates potential concerns much earlier, well before symptoms may appear.
  • The score can help determine potential treatment options and lifestyle modifications.

How is the Non-Invasive Test Performed?

  • Electrocardiogram sensors are attached to the chest. T
  • he patient lies down.
  • The scan captures a “freeze-frame” image of the heart.
  • No IV, no medications and no injections are required.
  • The procedure is painless.
  • Radiation dosage is minimal.

Schedule a Cardiac Calcium Scoring Test

Testing is available in Valhalla, Suffern, Kingston and Poughkeepsie, NY. A prior authorization is required and referral may be needed depending on your insurance. Talk to your insurance provider to learn more. Self-pay for this procedure can be as low as $75.

Call 866.WMC.HEART or 866.962.4327 or email CardiacImaging@WMCHealth.org to schedule your cardiac calcium scoring test. Check with your insurance provider to see if testing is covered. If not, WMCHealth, as a public service, provides the test at a low fee.