Cardiac ​Calcium Scoring Test

Quick, Easy CT Scan to Detect Early Warning Signs of Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every four deaths are due to heart disease.

Calcium Scoring is a safe, painless way for doctors to detect potential heart problems early. Test results allow your doctor to calculate your risk of heart attack and detect early blockage and plaque build-up. With your results, you and your doctor get a clear, concrete sense of how to best manage your lifestyle to prevent or minimize the advancement of heart disease.

PLEASE NOTE | A referral from a provider is required. Call your primary care doctor or visit Find A Doctor to schedule a Cardiac Calcium Scoring test today. This screening is not covered by all insurance plans, but is available for approximately $100 depending on the insurance carrier.

How Cardiac Calcium Scoring Works

The test measures the amount of calcium that has built up in your coronary arteries. It does not require any needles or other invasive measures. To prepare, all you need to do is refrain from caffeine the day of the test to help keep your resting heart rate below 120 bpm. There are no other preparations or medication changes, and you can resume all normal activities immediately afterward.

Results are recorded as a numeric score. The higher your score, the more calcium you have. A zero score means you have no calcium and are at low risk of having a heart attack in the next several years.

Because the test does involve a modest amount of radiation exposure, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology do not recommend the test for everyone, just for those at risk.

  • Calcium scoring is done using a CT scan and does not require the use of contrast dye.
  • The takes approximately 20 minutes.
  • Tests will be administered at UP Health System - Marquette.

What Makes a Good Candidate for the Test

Your doctor may recommend a Cardiac Calcium Scoring test if it can help you and your doctor make decisions about how to lower your risk for heart disease and heart attack. This test might be most helpful for people who do not have heart disease but are at medium risk for heart disease. Your doctor can help you know your risk of heart disease and heart attack. Your doctor will consider things that put you at risk, including blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and your age, sex, and race.

Those who may best qualify for the test include:

  • Men, age 40+
  • Women, age 50+

Plus one or more additional risk factors, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Smoker
  • High cholesterol
  • BMI greater than 30
  • Family history of premature heart disease (prior to age 55 in males and prior to age 65 in females)

For more information or to make a referral, please call 906.449.3440.