What’s a CT?

Computed tomography, otherwise referred to as a CT scan, is a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images of the inside of the body. It shows detailed images of any body part, including the bones, muscles, fat, organs, and blood vessels. CT scans are more complex than standard X-rays. They can be used to:

  • diagnose infections, fractures, and muscle and bone disorders
  • monitor treatment effectiveness for specific medical conditions.
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CT: The gold standard for identifying the location of disease and injury

While much information can be obtained from a regular X-ray, much detail about internal organs – like the location of tumors, masses, infections, blood clots, internal bleeding, and other structures- is unavailable. In CT, the X-ray beam moves in a circle around the body. This allows many different views of the same organ or structure and provides much greater detail.

CT is also useful as a screening tool for studies such as Cardiac CT Calcium Scoring and Low-dose CT Lung Cancer Screening. [link to specialty services page] These exams help determine if disease is present and to what extent.

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Cardiac Calcium Scoring

Most people who suffer heart attacks have only average or slightly elevated cholesterol. Even in people with cholesterol levels as low as 180, a heart attack is still the leading cause of death. Calcification in the heart’s arteries is the earliest indicator of a buildup of plaque in the walls of these arteries and a sign of potential coronary artery disease. Many people with plaque or calcium deposits clogging their heart’s blood vessels do not have any symptoms or warning signs that they may be in danger of having a heart attack.

A coronary calcium scoring exam uses computerized tomography (CT) to detect calcium deposits in the coronary arteries of your heart. A coronary calcium scan produces a calcium score indicating calcium deposits’ level. A higher coronary calcium score suggests a higher chance of significant narrowing in the coronary arteries and a higher risk of a future heart attack.

Getting a Coronary Calcium Scan

A Quick 10-Minute Exam

A coronary calcium scan is a low-dose heart CT scan that can take less than 10 minutes to complete.

It is a non-invasive exam and does not involve contrast. Blocked or clogged blood arteries can be detected without the need for surgery. Coronary calcium scoring exams can also help prevent heart attacks by detecting heart disease at its earliest stages.

You should consider a calcium scan if you are between ages 40-70 and at increased risk for heart disease but do not have symptoms.

Risk Factors

  • Family history of heart disease
  • Past or present smoker
  • History of high cholesterol
  • diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Overweight, Inactive lifestyle
  • Other non-traditional risk factors
  • Less than 40 years old, and high cholesterol runs in your family (familial hypercholesterolemia).

The Gold Standard

Precision is accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR)
Precision has met the ACR's highest standards for quality and safety in medical imaging. This means you get peace of mind when you choose Precision for all of your imaging needs.
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