A heart scan, also known as a coronary calcium scan, is a specialized test using CT scan that provides pictures of your heart that can help your doctor detect and measure calcium-containing plaque in your arteries.
We at ICC consider this scan an important element in assessment of risks and useful in tailoring AIM to Prevent™ Lifestyle Program. ICC has an established relationship with a local healthcare facility to perform this test at a cost of $99 (not generally covered by Health insurance program).
Why get a Heart Scan?
Depending upon the level of plaque, your doctor can determine and recommend steps to mitigate heart attack risk. Recommendation may include — medication, lifestyle changes and/or surgical procedure.
A heart scan uses a specialized X-ray technology called multidetector row or multi-slice computerized tomography (CT). The scan creates multiple images that can show any plaque deposits in the blood vessels. A heart scan provides an early look at levels of plaque.
Plaque is made up of fats, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances in the blood. It develops gradually over time, long before there are any signs or symptoms of disease. These deposits can restrict the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the muscles of the heart. Plaque may also burst, triggering a blood clot that can cause heart attack or stroke.
How to interpret the results?
The result of the test is usually given as a number called an Agatston score. The score
reflects the total area of calcium deposits and the density of the calcium. The higher the score, the higher your risk of heart disease.
- A score of zero means no calcium is seen in the heart. It suggests a low chance of developing a heart attack in the future.
- A score of 100 to 300 means moderate plaque deposits. It’s associated with a relatively high risk of a heart attack or other heart disease over the next three to five years.
- A score greater than 300 is a sign of very high to severe disease and heart attack risk.
It is important to understand an individual’s risks of heart disease particularly for South Asians where ethnicity is an additional risk factor. We at ICC consider this scan an important element in assessment of risks and useful in tailoring AIM to Prevent™ Lifestyle Program. ICC has an established relationship with a local healthcare facility to perform this test at a cost of $99 (not generally covered by Health insurance program).
We hope availability of this will facilitate and encourage you to take an important step of knowing your current status and cardiac risks for you in time to take corrective actions and avoid serious problems in the future.
How to Schedule a test and follow-up?
- Please fill out the form including demographic, most recent metabolic test results, current medications and other requested information. They are required to process the requisition and provide meaningful results and analysis.
- This information is used in calculation in addition to CT results to provide you with detailed useful information. Return the form to ICC by email (email information is included in the instructions)
Step2: ICC will forward this information to the Imaging Department at MetroWest Medical Center, Framingham, MA.
Step 3: ICC will advise you to contact MetoWest Medical Center, imaging scheduling department (at 508-383-8400) to set up an appointment.
- The test will take less than 30 minutes. At the time of your visit for scan, upon check in, you are expected to pay $50 for the test.
Step4: Your test results would be forwarded to ICC and in turn ICC will forward the results for review and appropriate actions by you and your medical care provider(s).
- You will receive and will be responsible for a charge of $49 for professional component of fees directly to MetroWest Medical Center when the results are available.
- We encourage you to share and discuss the results of your test with your care team for their guidance, recommendations, and implementation.
- Depending on the outcome, one or more of the following strategies may be appropriate:
- No change to current treatment plan
- Different medication or change in dosage of medication.
- Changes to your diet and exercise routine
- New weight loss goals
- Additional tests
- Follow-up appointments to monitor your health and treatment plan.
Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions. Click here to contact us.