Heart & Vascular Medical Professionals

CT Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring Patient Information and Appointment Sheet

CT Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring Patient Information and Appointment Sheet


University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute offers an X-ray test called cardiac CT imaging for coronary artery calcium scoring. This test has been shown by many studies in medical literature to predict future risk of heart attack. Done without an intravenous line or the use of any X-ray contrast material, the scan is a simple X-ray procedure which takes five to 10 minutes to complete. It measures the amount
of calcium that has accumulated in the walls of the coronary arteries and provides your physician what is termed a “coronary artery calcium score.” A score of zero means that no calcium is seen. This finding is associated with a very low risk (less than 1 percent) of a heart attack over the next 10 years.

Calcium Score 10-year risk CV event Risk interpretation
0 <1% Very low
1 - 99  4% Low
100 - 399 13% Moderate
400 or greater 24% High

When a calcium score is 1 – 99 or 100 – 399, this means that some hardening of the arteries is present, and will indicate how intensively prevention strategies should be used to control your modifiable heart disease risk factors. When a calcium score is found to be 400 or greater, this is a warning that extensive hardening of the arteries is present and aggressive prevention strategies should be used.

We recommend this test for men age 45 or older and women age 55 or older who do not have a history of coronary artery disease. In addition, you should have one or more risk factors for heart disease, which include high blood cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol), high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, type 2 diabetes, a family history of heart disease, or are age 40 or older and diagnosed with a chronic inflammatory condition (i.e., inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis). Testing at a younger age may be indicated in certain situations. Please consult your physician for further recommendations.

In the past, despite the availability, very few patients had the test done as it is generally not covered by insurance and was quite costly. However, UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute is pleased to now offer this test at no cost.  You or your doctor simply needs to call Radiology Patient Access at 216-844-1700 to arrange for the test.  A physician order is required to schedule.

With a reputation for successfully treating heart attacks, we welcome the opportunity to work with you and your doctor now to prevent a heart attack from happening.

Our Preventive Cardiology Program is actively involved in research to reduce the risk of heart attack. A representative from our program may contact you to discuss opportunities to participate in our clinical or research programs. Your participation will be completely voluntary.

Testing locations:
To schedule, call 216-844-1700 (Radiology Patient Access). A physician order is required.

UH Cleveland Medical Center
UH Ahuja Medical Center
UH Bedford Medical Center, a campus of UH Regional Hospitals
UH Conneaut Medical Center
UH Geauga Medical Center
UH Parma Medical Center
UH Portage Medical Center
UH St. John Medical Center
UH Amherst Health Center
UH Avon Health Center
UH Minoff Health Center at Chagrin Highlands
UH Concord Health Center
UH Fairlawn Health Center
UH Medina Health Center
UH Mentor Health Center

Day of the test:
Avoid caffeine and tobacco products the morning of the test.
The test will take approximately 20 – 30 minutes total; actual CT scan is about five to 10 minutes.
Wear comfortable clothing.

The test is offered at no cost.

A copy of the report will be sent to your primary care or referring doctor.
Please call 216-844-3800 if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our cardiovascular specialists.