Calcium Scoring

Calcium Scoring Provides an Accurate Picture of Heart Attack Risk

The coronary artery calcium (CAC) test, available at University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute at University Hospitals Parma Medical Center, correctly identifies coronary artery disease (CAD) at an asymptomatic stage, or before symptoms appear. This test provides a complete picture of current health – beyond traditional risk factors like hypertension and family history – and is the single most accurate method for predicting heart attack risk.

How a Calcium Score is Determined

A CAC score can reveal early-stage heart disease. This test is performed on a computed tomography (CT) scanner that takes detailed pictures of the heart. Results reveal the presence and pinpoints the extent of calcium deposits in plaque on the walls of the heart’s arteries. Excessive calcium buildup is an indicator of coronary artery disease. The higher a calcium score, the greater the risk of heart attack.

What to Expect During the Test

Testing for a calcium score can only be scheduled with an order from a physician. This non-invasive procedure takes approximately five minutes. Participants lay fully dressed on the CT table and hold their breath for a few seconds while the machine takes a series of pictures of the heart.

Although this test is currently not covered under insurance plans, the information it provides can be life-saving. UH Parma Medical Center is committed to making the out-of-pocket cost affordable at $75.

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Patients needing a family physician, cardiologist or vascular specialist, can call 440-743-4900.

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