Detecting Heart Disease Through A CT Scan

Gwinnett Medical Center's Imaging department is detecting heart disease with a simple CT Scan. Learn how.

What is cardiac CT for calcium scoring? 
Cardiac calcium scoring is a quick, painless exam done without any X-ray dye (or contrast) injections that measures the calcium buildup within the coronary arteries of the heart using advanced computerized tomography technology. The “score” can be used as a marker for coronary artery disease. The higher the score, the higher the risk that stenosis (blockage) exists. This exam is a screening tool to give your doctor additional information to determine the best course of action to manage early detection of coronary artery disease. Options may include clinical interventions, medications or lifestyle changes. This test is not intended to take the place of your usual doctor visits. 

Who should have a calcium scoring screening? 
The goal of calcium scoring is to determine if coronary artery disease is present in those patients who may not have symptoms but may be at risk for the disease. Most often Calcium Scoring is suggested for patients 45 or older. 

Risk factors include: 
  • High cholesterol or triglycerides 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Diabetes or a family history of diabetes 
  • Cigarette smoking 
  • Family history of heart disease 
  • Being overweight or having an inactive lifestyle 

How do you schedule this exam? 

Patients must have a signed prescription from either their primary care physician or a cardiologist to schedule the exam. Most insurance plans do not cover the calcium scoring exam. There is a $120 fee, payable at the time the test is performed. This fee covers the test and interpretation of the test. Test results will be sent to the ordering physician within one week. Call 678-312-3444 to schedule an appointment and visit to learn about all of the all-digital imaging services offered at Gwinnett Medical Center. 


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