Are you at Risk?
Calcium scoring is a test in which patients undergo a CT scan of their chest without contrast to determine if there is any calcium deposits in their coronary arteries. CT scanning has a very high resolution and is an excellent test to spot even minor amounts of calcium in the coronary arteries. Calcium gets deposited in coronary arteries very early in the process of coronary artery disease even when there is even minor (less than 10%) disease so it is a good way to see if people have early coronary disease. If we know that someone has early disease we can make sure there is no critical disease (by doing traditional stress testing) and then advise a program to lower the chance that minor disease will progress to major obstructive disease. If we see a score above 10, we can recommend therapy such as statin therapy, aspirin and exercise to prevent future problems. Calcium scores may be appropriate for people at higher risk for coronary disease (people with a positive family history). This article may help you understand where this test fits in.