Department of Radiology: Cardiac Calcium Scoring FAQ
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What is Cardiac Calcium Scoring?
A. Cardiac calcium scoring uses a special X-ray test called computed tomography (CT) to
check for the buildup of calcium in plaque on the walls of the arteries of the heart (coronary
arteries). A CT scan takes pictures of the heart in thin sections.
This test is used to check for heart disease in an early stage and to reveal whether
abnormal amounts of calcium are present in the arteries feeding the heart. It helps enable a
physician to rule out significant coronary artery disease and help identify those patients who
can most benefit from treatment with cholesterol lowering medication.
Q. Why come to the Medical Center for Cardiac Calcium Scoring?
A. Englewood Hospital and Medical Center's state-of-the-art, high-speed spiral CT scanners
perform faster scans and decrease the time required in getting your doctor a report.
Englewood Hospital and Medical Center also utilizes a highly sophisticated technology in
Nuclear Cardiology called Attenuation Correction. Our CT Scanner also helps those patients
who have difficulty staying still or holding their breath (e.g. accident victims, critically ill, and
The Medical Center offers the latest diagnostic facilities and a highly trained and specialized
staff, including Board Certified and Fellowship trained radiologists who interpret the studies.
Our caring staff understands patient anxieties and goes the extra mile to make the procedure
as comfortable as possible.
Q. What can I expect during the procedure?
A. The procedure is fast and painless. Patients will be asked to lie on a table that will move
through the scanner’s opening, taking images of the heart. Patients may be asked to remain
very still and hold their breath while the actual images are being made. Each scan usually
takes no more than 20 seconds. The whole procedure usually lasts 15 minutes.
Q. How do I prepare for Cardiac Calcium Scoring?
A. Patients may be told to avoid caffeine for about 4 hours before the test. Patients who are
pregnant must alert their doctor, who will decide whether it is safe to have a CT scan.
• Wear comfortable clothing
• Bring along reading material for the waiting room
• No caffeine 4 hours prior to scan
Q. What if I still have questions about Cardiac Calcium Scoring?
A. For more information, call the Department of Radiology at 201-894-3400.