FAQs: Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring (CAC Scoring)
What is coronary artery calcium scoring?
Atherosclerosis, also referred to as hardening of the arteries, is a disease characterized by progressive build up of plaques in the walls of the arteries. These plaques, which are composed of both fat and calcium, can cause narrowing or blockage of the arteries and lead to heart attacks. Coronary Artery Calcium (CAC) scoring is a measurement of the amount of calcified plaque (the hard portion of the plaques) in the coronary arteries.
Your calcium score, along with knowledge of your risk factors, can be used by your physician to determine your likelihood of having a heart attack or dying from heart disease. The score helps to guide the need for further testing and for treatment.
Major benefits of knowing your calcium score:
Earlier detection of plaque build up in arteries
Allows you and your physician to develop a strategy to prevent a heart attack
Reduces the need for more invasive and expensive tests
Provides you with peace of mind
Who should have CAC Scoring?
Anyone who may be at risk for developing heart disease can benefit from calcium screening. The test is most beneficial in men 45 - 75 years of age and women 55 - 75 years of age.
What does CAC scoring involve?
The CT scan is safe, simple, painless and fast. A CT technologist will apply three small electrocardiogram pads to your chest and you will lie on the scanner table and hold your breath several times for 15 to 20 seconds at a time as the table moves slowly in and out of the scanner. No intravenous injections are required. The entire procedure lasts less than five minutes.
When do I get my calcium screening results?
You will be notified personally of your test results by a nurse as soon as possible after your test is completed. A copy of your test results will be provided directly to you or to your primary care physician, if requested.
How much will it cost?
The cost of the CT Calcium Screening is just $100, with payment due at the time of screening. This amount includes the cost of the scan and nterpretation by the physician. Most insurance plans do not yet cover the cost of this valuable screening.
Directions to Georgia Regents Medical Center Imaging
1120 15th Street, Augusta, Ga 30912
1. Park at the Harper Street Parking Deck
2. Enter the hospital through the Critical Care doors
(just to the left of the emergency room entrance)
3. Proceed straight ahead and take the elevator up
to the second floor.
4. Take a left off of the elevator and go straight to