Cardiac computed tomography (CT) for Calcium Scoring uses special x-ray equipment to produce pictures of the coronary arteries to determine if they are blocked or narrowed by the buildup of plaque – an indicator for atherosclerosis or coronary artery disease (CAD). The information obtained can help evaluate whether you are at increased risk for heart attack.
The calcium that the scan is looking for is tied in with plaque. This is not the stuff you get on your teeth, but a different kind found in your arteries. It’s made partly of fat and calcium, and it’s not good for your heart. Plaque is waxy at first, and it builds up slowly. But over time, it can harden. You may hear doctors call this “calcified” plaque. It’s a problem for two reasons.
First, hard plaque in your arteries is like a clog in a pipe. It slows your blood flow. That means some parts of your body don’t get enough of the oxygen they need. If plaque collects in your heart’s arteries, you may feel chest pain and discomfort, called angina.
Second, that plaque can break open, which can lead to a blood clot. That could cause a heart attack.
The coronary calcium scan tells you how much calcified plaque is in your heart’s arteries. You and your doctor can take the results and decide if you need to make any changes to your medicine or lifestyle.
Carotid ultrasound is a safe, painless procedure that uses sound waves to examine the blood flow through the carotid arteries. Your two carotid arteries are located on each side of your neck. They deliver blood from your heart to your brain.
Carotid ultrasound tests for blocked or narrowed carotid arteries, which can increase the risk of stroke. The results can help your doctor determine a treatment to lower your stroke risk.
A carotid ultrasound is performed to test for narrowed carotid arteries, which increase the risk of stroke. Carotid arteries are usually narrowed by a buildup of plaque — made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances that circulate in the bloodstream. Early diagnosis and treatment of a narrowed carotid artery can decrease stroke ris
Basic Heart Scan, Stroke
Cardiac Markers (HsCRP, Apolipoprotein, Homocysteine)
Cardiac markers are biomarkers measured to evaluate heart function. They are often discussed in the context of myocardial infarction, but other conditions can lead to an elevation in cardiac marker level.
The hsCRP test is a highly sensitive quantification of CRP, an acute-phase protein released into the blood by the liver during inflammation, which has been associated with the presence of heart disease.
Homocysteine is a common amino acid in your blood. You get it mostly from eating meat. High levels of it are linked to early development of heart disease.
A stress test can determine if you have heart disease. A doctor or trained technician performs the test. He’ll learn how much your heartcan manage before an abnormal rhythm starts or blood flow to your heart muscle drops.
What is Cardiac CT for Calcium Scoring?
Computed tomography, more commonly known as a CT or CAT scan, is a diagnostic medical test that, like traditional x-rays, produces multiple images or pictures of the inside of the body. The cross-sectional images generated during a CT scan can be reformatted in multiple planes, and can even generate three-dimensional images. These images can be viewed on a computer monitor, printed on film or transferred to a CD or DVD. CT images of internal organs, bones, soft tissue and blood vessels provide greater detail than traditional x-rays, particularly of soft tissues and blood vessels.