Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. Because of this, it’s smart to consider your risks for various cardiac disorders. Knowing where you stand will help you make lifestyle and medical decisions that will keep you healthy and active throughout your life. One of the many tests we offer is cardiac calcium scoring. Why might this test be the right choice for you?
Cardiac Calcium Scoring – What Is It?
Ideally, the vessels in your heart will be clean and unobstructed. In many types of heart disease, plaque develops on the inside of the vessels, obstructing blood flow. As the condition progresses, the plaque can harden and become calcified. In cardiac calcium scanning, we take a 3D image of your heart, allowing your doctors to measure the amount of calcium in your cardiac vessels. We will look at your score to determine whether you are at risk for or have already developed a heart condition.
Who Should Receive Cardiac Calcium Scoring?
Even though the procedure is non-invasive and very safe, not everyone should get it. If you don’t have any risk factors for cardiac disease, scanning is usually unnecessary. The biggest risk factors include:
- high blood cholesterol levels
- family history of heart attacks
- high blood pressure
- cigarette smoking
- overweight or obese
- physical inactivity
On the other hand, if you already know you are at high risk of coronary artery disease, or are already being treated, your doctor may recommend you skip this test. It’s a bit of a Goldilocks situation. If your risk is low, testing is unnecessary; if you’re already being treated, testing is probably not needed. Testing is perfect for those at moderate risk, just right in the middle. If you have several risk factors but are not yet diagnosed, testing could be right for you.
Where Can You Get Tested?
Southtowns Radiology offers CT services at all three of our locations in and around Buffalo, NY. Your tests will be reviewed by the most highly qualified radiologists in the region. You can visit us at one of our offices in West Seneca, Orchard Park or Hamburg. Feel free to contact us or use our online appointment scheduling service at any time.