No-Cost Coronary Artery Calcium Score Test
University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute offers a test called cardiac CT imaging for coronary artery calcium scoring. It is generally not covered by insurance and can be quite costly. However, UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute is the only program offering this test to you at no cost.
What is Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring?
- This test is used to determine your future risk of heart attack.
- A calcium score test is a noninvasive, low dose CT scan, performed without an intravenous line or any contrast material.
- The appointment takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes, with the actual CT scan about 10 to 15 minutes of that time.
- Coronary calcium scoring involves a small portion of radiation, similar to or lower than that used in other screenings.
- The test measures the amount of calcium that has accumulated in the walls of the coronary arteries and provides what is termed a “coronary artery calcium score” to help interpret your risk level.
Who Should Get a Calcium Score Test?
Men and women age 45 or older, with no history of coronary artery disease, and with one or more risk factors for heart disease, including:
- High blood cholesterol
- Low HDL cholesterol (“good cholesterol”)
- High blood pressure
- Cigarette smoking
- Type 2 diabetes
- Family history of heart disease at age 55 or younger in men and 65 or younger in women
- Chronic inflammatory condition (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis, HIV/AIDS)
- Female conditions such as preeclampsia or early menopause (younger than 40)
- Chronic kidney disease
Testing at a younger age may be indicated in certain situations. Please consult your physician for further recommendations.
What Do My Test Results Mean?
A score of zero means that no calcium is seen. That finding is associated with a very low risk (less than 1 percent) of a heart attack over the next 10 years. As the amount of calcium detected increases, the risk of heart attack also increases.
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.
|Calcium score||Risk interpretation|
|400 or greater||High|
Depending on your results, consider scheduling an appointment with one of our cardiovascular specialists for related medical needs or treatment.
Do You Have an Order?
In order to receive a no cost calcium score test you must have an order from a physician.
Yes, I have an order
If you have an order for a calcium test, you or your doctor can call, 216-844-1700, to schedule an appointment with radiology. Once the test is complete, results will be sent to your referring provider to read, provide your test results and discuss next steps.
No, I do not have an order
If you do not have an order for a calcium test, contact your primary care provider to discuss if this test is right for you, and request an order. Once you have an order, call 216-844-1700 to schedule an appointment with radiology.
Don't Have a Primary Care Provider?
What to Expect
Day of the Test
- Avoid caffeine and tobacco products the morning of the test
- The test will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes total; the actual CT scan is about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Wear comfortable clothing
UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute offers this test at no cost.
- A copy of the report will be sent to your primary care or referring doctor.
- After you have received your results, please call 216-844-3800 if you would like to schedule an appointment with one of our cardiovascular specialists.