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CMH detects early signs of heart disease through CT scans

Citizens Memorial Hospital offers Cardiac Computed Tomography (CT) for Calcium Scoring, a non-invasive way of evaluating whether you may be at increased risk for a heart attack.

Cardiac CT for Calcium Scoring is a specialized test designed to measure the calcium levels in the coronary arteries by rotating a thin X-ray beam around the patient to create an image. The calcium heart score can capture images of a beating heart.

“The rotation of the scanner produces 128-images, providing CMH radiologists with amazing technology by which to understand what’s going on with your heart,” says Gayla Hankins, director of radiology at CMH. “Calcium scoring is able to accurately identify the calcium that is found within the plaque. This calcium ‘score’ provides you with the degree of calcification, which can determine your risk of having a heart attack in the future.”

Cardiac CT for Calcium Scoring is a clinically proven non-invasive test for the early detection of heart disease. If you have risk factors for coronary artery disease but have no symptoms, then this test may be right for you. The test is recommended for women over 55 years of age or who are post-menopausal and men age 45 years or older. The test is not recommended to those who already have been diagnosed with heart disease and have had heart surgery or stents placed.

The calcium heart score is painless and takes less than five minutes. The process consists of lying on the scan table with four electrodes applied to the chest. The patient holds their breath a few times and then the scan is complete. The heart score is quickly processed and results are shared with your physician.

The exam requires a physician’s order. The screening exam is not covered by insurance.  A $75 fee is due at the time of the scan. For more information on the Cardiac CT for Calcium Scoring, discuss your medical history and risk factors with you primary care provider or call CMH at 417-328-6010.

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