Ascension Michigan Heart Report: Dr. LaLonde

Understanding Calcium Scans and Coronary Heart Disease

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Understanding Calcium Scans and Coronary Heart Disease

Question: What is a calcium scoring scan and what does it tell you about someone’s heart health?

Dr. LaLonde: A calcium scan is a specialized x-ray performed by computerized tomography (CT) to specifically look for calcium deposits in the wall of the coronary vessels which is the earliest sign of coronary disease. The importance of identifying that, of course, is to try to prevent heart attacks and sudden deaths so that we can initiate treatment such as Statin drugs, more strict control of blood pressure to prevent the consequences of coronary disease months and years down the road.

Question: Who are the best candidates for this test?

Dr. LaLonde: The best candidates are those who are at intermediate risk of heart disease, those who have risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smokers, probably the most important are those who also have a pretty profound family history or genetic predisposition for coronary disease

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