Coronary Calcium Scan

Disease Management Above the Standard - Earlier Coronary Plaque Detection.

Coronary calcium scan is for the heart just as mammography is for the breast and just as colonoscopy is for the colon. 

Our Dual Approach3
Detect Your Plaques Earlier and Live

Our goal is prevent the plaques in the coronary arteries from reaching the point that it causes sudden death, heart attack, or need to have a stent or heart bypass surgery. When the plaques start to obstruct the artery by 70% or greater, the increase in demand for more oxygen by the heart muscle during physical exertion can’t be met resulting in a perfusion defect shown above, on the right. You don’t want to get to that point. 

Because optimal medical therapy is highly effective that it can stop plaque progression and even induce plaque regression, we want to detect these plaques much earlier using a 15-second CT scan of the heart.

Coronary Scan

There is no IV, no contrast injection, no exercise, no special prep and very low radiation exposure - about the same as mammography. The cost is between $50 to $100 and your insurance may or may not cover it. It is the best $100 investment you can make for yourself. Give it as a gift to yourself or to someone else.

The test gives a calcium score ranging from zero to hundreds to thousands as shown below.

CACS 1800
Extremely High CAC Score

Patients with CACS of 4,000 normally needs a quadruple heart bypass. This patient of ours has been receiving optimal medical therapy for over 10 years with LDL-c maintained in the 30 to 40 mg/dL range. He has normal myocardial perfusion on his nuclear stress test and cardiac catheterization showed no significant blockages.

Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Only 20% of plaques are calcified. What the CT scan detects is just the tip of the iceberg.

The test is repeated after 3 to 5 years. In patients with high coronary calcium score, the goal is to keep the annual increase in score to 15% or less by the 3rd to 5th year of aggressive therapy.

© Rolando L. deGoma MD  2019     Capital Cardiology Associates     Princeton Physicians' Organization