Cardiac Calcium Scoring

Know Your Heart Attack Risk

A painless, safe and accurate way to measure the amount of calcium in your coronary arteries, which can lead to blockage. No injections, treadmills or fasting.

The procedure

There is no preparation for this test, although it is best if you don’t have caffeine for at least four hours before the test. You will lie on your back and your heart will be scanned in a CT machine in Great River Medical Center’s Diagnostic Imaging Department. You will need to hold your breath for 20 seconds.

Why is cardiac calcium scoring important?

Coronary artery disease claims more lives than lung, breast, colon and prostate cancers combined. There often are no symptoms. Early diagnosis is important to treating and possibly reversing the condition.

Cardiac calcium scoring is a more powerful predictor of coronary artery disease than cholesterol screening. The information it provides can give you the opportunity to seek treatment and make appropriate changes. Cardiac calcium scoring is not intended to replace routine medical evaluations by your health care provider.

What are risk factors for coronary artery disease and heart attack?

The most common risk factors for coronary artery disease and heart attack are:

  • Diabetes
  • Family history of heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • High-stress way of life
  • Men over age 40; women over age 50
  • Overweight by 20 percent or more
  • Sedentary way of life
  • Smoking

Make an appointment

To make an appointment, call your health care provider. A referral is required.

Cost and Payment

The cost of this screening test is $49, which includes the examination and radiologist's report. Payment is required before the test is done. Cash and credit cards are accepted.

The results

A radiologist will review test results and send them to the provider who ordered the test.