Calcium Deposits and Heart Disease
In addition to plaque buildup in the arteries, calcium deposits can also narrow the blood vessels that lead to the heart. When the flow of blood is restricted, angina (chest pain) may be the result. When the calcium deposits are enough to significantly or completely block the movement of blood to the heart, a heart attack may occur.
Calcium scoring uses a CT scan to measure the presence and levels of calcium in the major blood vessels. This painless, non-invasive procedure can help identify people at risk of heart problems early in the development of cardiac disease, often before symptoms appear. The sooner the problem is identified, the more likely that early intervention can correct the problem and prevent complications in the future.
The CT scan produces three-dimensional images of the blood vessels that your Hurley cardiologist and vascular physician can examine for signs of calcium deposits. You are given a calcium “score” that indicates the level of calcium deposits in your blood vessels; the higher the score, the more calcium in your blood vessels and the greater the risk of heart disease.
Consult with your doctor
While calcium deposits are not the only cause of cardiovascular problems, if you have a family history of and other risk factors for heart disease, you should consult with your doctor to determine the best screening options. If you are or might be pregnant, be sure to tell your physician before undergoing the procedure.