What is CT Heart Scoring?
A CT Heart Score is a noninvasive test which can identify heart disease in its early stages. Using our CT Scanner, we are able to take rapid cross-sectional images of your heart. Those images can show calcium build-up in your arteries, a potential sign of coronary artery disease. This “picture” of your heart health will help you and your physician to determine whether any lifestyle changes are needed to reduce or avoid the risks of heart disease.
Is this test for you?
Manatee Diagnostic Center values the appropriate use of medical testing. This test is not for everyone. But, if you are a male age 35-70, or a female age 40-70, with any of the following risk factors, the CT Heart Score may provide valuable information to your physician about your heart health:
- Family history of heart disease
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
During your examination
Though the scanning itself causes no pain, there may be some discomfort from having to remain still for several minutes. If you have a hard time staying still, are claustrophobic or have chronic pain, you may find a CT exam to be stressful. Under the direction of a physician, you may be offered a mild sedative to help you tolerate the CT scanning procedure.
When you enter the CT scanner, special lights may be used to ensure that you are properly positioned. With modern CT scanners, you will hear only slight buzzing, clicking and whirring sounds as the CT scanner revolves around you during the imaging process. You will be alone in the exam room during the CT scan. However, the technologist will be able to see, hear and speak with you at all times.
After your examination
Your images will be reviewed on a computer by our board-certified radiologists. A detailed report of your scan and score, indicating your risk of heart problems, will be sent to your physician.
The CT Heart Score could very well save your life. If you are at risk for heart disease, you should talk with your physician about this important diagnostic test. Together with a personalized health plan, you can increase your chance of having a heart that is the picture of health.