Coronary heart disease remains a leading cause of death and morbidity in the western world. Despite our best efforts, many patients suffer heart attacks without any warning, and it is thought that in over half of cases there is no prior coronary stenosis or narrowing that could even be detected by exercise or stress testing.
In the majority of those affected however, there are detectable microscopic deposits of coronary calcification around the coronary arteries that indicates the presence of coronary plaque.
This coronary calcification can only be detected in life using a very fast CT that has been gated to acquire at the correct point of the cardiac cycle based on the ECG.
Cardiologists all over the world as well as in the UK now recommend Coronary Calcification scoring in people over the age of 40 yrs as the best method for assessing future coronary risk. The test is now also recommended in the evaluation of patients with atypical chest symptoms (see NICE Guidance PDF)
Once we have determined your calcification score, in context with other test results , risk factors and symptoms, our Cardiologist can make a recommendation about whether you can relax (ie low risk) or whether you need to undertake lifestyle modification, take medication such as statins or be referred for further specialist investigation.
With coronary artery disease it reeally is a case that 'prevention is better than cure' - since early detection leads to effective prevention of heart attacks and angina- along with the need for a possible Coronary Bypass or Stent operation years ahead.
Download our Calcium Score fact sheet