Tags: Heart Disease | cardiac calcium scoring | heart attack

Can Cardiac Calcium Scoring Test Predict a Heart Attack?

By    |   Monday, 11 Jul 2016 06:23 PM

A cardiac calcium scoring test has great potential to predict a heart attack and coronary artery disease by measuring the amount of calcium-containing plaque in the arteries of the heart.

Calcified plaque buildup in the arteries can block blood flow to the heart muscle.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a cardiac calcium scoring scan can help detect heart disease even before a person experiences signs or symptoms.

The coronary artery calcium scan is a specific computed tomography, or CT, scan using a special X-ray that can detect and measure plaque buildup in the arteries of the heart.

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Johns Hopkins Medicine cited a study showing that a cardiac calcium scoring test “trumps cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and other risk factors in predicting heart attacks and deaths.”

In a study of 7,000 participants over a seven-year period, cardiac calcium scoring provided an accurate measure of “high or low risk of a heart attack or death from coronary artery disease,” said the study’s senior author Dr. Khurram Nasir.

According to Radiology Info, a positive cardiac calcium scoring test indicates the presence of coronary artery disease.

The higher the score, the greater the risk a patient is of suffering a future heart attack.

This test can help doctors determine what, if any, preventive treatment will be given and what lifestyle changes should be made to lower the risk of heart attack.

The degree of risk of coronary artery disease and possibly heart attack is determined by calcium score:

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Here's what cardiac calcium scoring says about the evidence of coronary artery disease, according to Radiology Info. If a patient scores:
  • Zero = No evidence of CAD
  • 1–10 = Minimal evidence of CAD
  • 11–100 =  Mild evidence of CAD
  • 101–400 = Moderate evidence of CAD
  • Over 400 = Extensive evidence of CAD

The Mayo Clinic explains that a moderate cardiac calcium score can indicate a 5 percent to 7.5 percent chance of a heart attack occurring within 10 years.

Even if the score is low, a moderate risk score may be assigned to someone who has a family history of heart attacks early in life.

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A cardiac calcium scoring test has great potential to predict a heart attack and coronary artery disease by measuring the amount of calcium-containing plaque in the arteries of the heart.
cardiac calcium scoring, heart attack
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2016-23-11
Monday, 11 Jul 2016 06:23 PM
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