Overview of Calcium Score

A coronary artery calcium score is a special CT scan that uses a very low radiation dose (similar to a mammogram, and ten times less than a standard CT scan) to detect calcium deposits in the coronary arteries. The presence of calcium indicates underlying heart disease called atherosclerosis — a build up of fat, cholesterol, and other substances in the coronary arteries. Atherosclerosis can lead to heart attacks and damaged heart muscle.

Who might need a calcium score? Men over the age of 45 years and women over 55 years who have at least one of the following risks:

Younger individuals may be eligible if they have a strong family history of heart disease at a young age. Patients who have a prior history of heart attack, stents, or bypass surgery are not eligible.

A coronary calcium CT scan is painless and takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.

Patient Instructions

Learn what happens (and what you need to do) before, during, and after this procedure:

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