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Calcium plaque in the heart arteries is a result of years of fatty deposits which have subsequently healed. Calcium by itself is not dangerous; however, it can be a marker of coronary artery disease. Finding coronary artery disease early allows for lifestyle and medicine changes to help keep your heart healthy and reduce the possibility of a heart attack.
Calcium scoring is a non-invasive, painless medical test. A CT scanner takes pictures of your heart showing the location and amount of calcified plaque in your coronary arteries
Calcium scoring is one of the best screening tools we have in Cardiology to detect the presence of coronary artery disease in people who do not have symptoms of chest pain or shortness of breath. Several risk factors may prompt your provider to consider a calcium score test:
- Family or personal history of coronary artery disease
- History of high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure
- Inactive lifestyle
- Male over 45 years of age; female over 55 years of age
- Past or present smoker
Wellness Vascular Screening Exam
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US, but vascular disease outside the heart causes almost as much death and disability as heart disease, and more than any cancer.The vascular laboratory now offers a vascular screening exam for the detection of arterial disease. This examination is an optional screening procedure that is not reimbursable by insurance plans. It is not related to any other vascular examination, screening or complete evaluation, which may be payable by insurance, Medicare or other third-party payers. This examination consists of three components:
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)
- Vascular disease can cause aneurysms of the aorta, the main artery of the body
- Aortic aneurysms are the 10th leading cause of death in men over 50
- Nearly 15,000 people die each year in this country from rupture of an aortic aneurysm
- More than 700,000 people in this country have an undiagnosed aneurysm
The Aortic Scan is an ultrasound scan of the aorta, the body's main artery. The scan can tell how big the aneurysm is and when it needs treatment.
Carotid Artery Disease
- Vascular disease can block the carotid arteries to the brain and cause paralyzing strokes
- Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.
- Stroke is the leading cause of disability; our country annually spends more than $50 billion on care of stroke patients
The Carotid Scan consists of a quick carotid duplex ultrasound scan and a blood pressure check for severe hypertension. These exams can detect the most frequent causes of stroke – significant internal carotid artery stenosis.
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
- Poor circulation in the legs can cause serious disability or lead to amputation
- This is especially common in smokers and people with diabetes
- Up to 20 percentof people over 70 years of age have peripheral arterial disease
The Peripheral Artery Disease scan is a Doppler exam for PAD can quickly determine if there is any impairment in the circulation to the limbs. The exam can identify blockages in the leg arteries and tell how severe the blockage is and whether treatment is needed.
Preperation: Your screening will be scheduled for the earlier morning hours. Please fast from midnight (do not eat or drink) before your test to improve the quality of the images of the abdominal aorta. Please wear comfortable clothing that allows access to your neck, abdomen and ankles.