Coronary Artery Calcium Test
Cardiovascular care is extremely important, especially as we age. At Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates, our doctors are equipped to help predetermine your coronary issues. With the use of a coronary artery calcium (CAC) test, we can determine whether you are at risk of developing heart-related issues before they happen.
What Is A Coronary Artery Calcium Test (CAC)?
A coronary artery calcium test (CAC) is simply a CAT scan that measures how much calcium build-up you have in the walls of the arteries in your heart. Typically, calcium deposits itself in the artery walls in cholesterol plaque, which is revealed in the images produced by the CAC test.
Knowing if you have calcium in your arteries is an important part of your cardiovascular health. Not only is it an early identifier of heart health risks, but it can also effectively tell you how you should be treated. The amount of calcium present is ranked in what’s called a “calcium score.” The score is usually compared to findings in similarly aged men and women.
When to Consider a CAC Test
If you have already been diagnosed with heart disease, a CAC test isn’t necessary. But like other preventative health screenings, if you are over age 45 and are at risk for hypertension, smoking, obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes or have a family history of heart disease, you may be the perfect candidate for a CAC test, even if you feel perfectly healthy. A conversation with your cardiologist will let you know if a CAC test is right for you.
What to Expect from a CAC Test
A CAC test is a quick, one-time, non-invasive test that looks for coronary calcium. Using x-ray or multislice computed tomography (CT), your heart will be scanned by a tubelike imaging machine for 10-15 minutes. You may be given medication to slow your heart so more accurate pictures can be obtained or if you are feeling anxious.
At Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates, our board certified cardiologists are experts in services evaluating, diagnosing and treating cardiovascular disease, including high levels of calcium, and in providing CAC tests.
Schedule A Consultation
If you’re interested in learning more about coronary artery calcium tests, schedule a consultation by contacting us at (908)-788-1710.
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