Why it is done?
Cardiac CT scan for calcium scoring is done to determine if any coronary artery disease is present and if it is then to what extent? It is a screening study recommended for patients who are at risk for coronary artery disease but do not have any clinical symptoms.
What it detects?
Calcified plaques form due to build-up of fat and other substances under the inner layer of the artery. This material can calcify, leading to atherosclerosis (hardening or clogging up of arteries which in turn cause coronary artery disease. People with this have an increased risk for heart attacks.
Now, since calcium is a marker of coronary artery disease, the amount of calcium detected on a cardiac CT scan is a helpful in predicting the future disease status.
The findings of cardiac CT are denoted as 'calcium score'
The extent of coronary artery disease is graded according to the following calcium score:
|Calcium Score||Presence of CAD|
|0||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|
Convenient and non-invasive
Less time consumption
Causes no pain or discomfort
Does not require injection of contrast material