A coronary calcium scan measures calcium deposits in coronary arteries. Coronary calcification is a highly sensitive marker for the presence of coronary atherosclerosis, even before symptoms develop. More coronary calcium means more atherosclerosis, suggesting a greater risk for cardiovascular events. A computed tomography (CT) scan is the most effective method for detecting coronary calcium.
Who should be recommended for a coronary calcium scan?
Patients who meet the following criteria:
- Family history of heart disease
- Past or present smoker
- Men age 45+, women age 55+
- History of high cholesterol, diabetes or high blood pressure
- Inactive lifestyle
About the scan
The CT scan lasts about 20 seconds. No preparation is needed. Three leads to an EKG monitor are placed on the chest. The high-speed CT scan captures multiple images that are then read by a radiologist for the presence of calcification in the coronary arteries.
Interpretation of results
If calcium is present, the computer will create a calcium score that estimates the extent of coronary artery disease. A score of 101 to 400 can be a cause for concern depending on the patient’s medical history. A score over 400 is a sign of heart disease, and the patient should be referred to a cardiologist. You and your patient will receive a full report outlining the results of the scan and follow-up recommendations.
Is the scan covered by insurance?
Because a coronary calcium scan is a screening examination, it is not covered by most insurance companies or Medicare. The patient is responsible for all costs at the time of the exam. The cost is $150 and includes all lab, technical, medical and professional interpretation charges.
Self-referrals are accepted. A physician's order is not required.
To schedule a coronary calcium scan, contact:
Norton Diagnostic Center – St. Matthews
4046 Dutchmans Lane
Louisville, KY 40207
Phone: (502) 893-7145
Fax: (502) 893-7147
Hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.