Coronary Calcium Scanning
A coronary calcium scan is a non-invasive exam which obtains information about the location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries. The coronary arteries are the vessels that supply oxygen-containing blood to the heart wall. Calcium is a marker of coronary artery disease. The calcium score gives an idea of whether coronary artery disease is present despite a lack of symptoms or is likely to develop in the next few years.
Most people who suffer heart attacks have only average or slightly elevated cholesterol. In people with cholesterol levels as low as 180, heart attack is still the leading cause of death. Many people with plaque deposits often do not have any symptoms, and sudden cardiac death is frequently the first sign of coronary artery disease. This is why a coronary calcium scan is so important. This simple test can provide an early warning of coronary artery disease before experiencing any cardiac symptoms.
This typically painless procedure only takes 10 minutes. To measure how much calcium has accumulated in the coronary arteries, the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center at Cedars-Sinai uses a state-of-the-art 64-slice dual-source CT scanner which is many times faster than a conventional CT scanner.
Our expert team has perfected methods to reduce the amount of radiation used in a Coronary Calcium Scan to an extremely low dose.1
What is included?
- Optional one-on-one review of your scan and report with an Imaging Cardiologist
- Complete cholesterol test (includes LDL, HDL, and VLDL)
- 64-slice CT scanner
- Same-day electronic reporting
The benefits of coronary calcium scoring:
- Coronary calcium levels are linked to coronary artery disease, heart attacks and mortality
- Allows your doctor to better manage your health and prevent life threatening events
- Earlier treatment of heart disease that can prevent the disease from worsening
- No contrast, minimal radiation (Cedars-Sinai uses half the radiation compared to standard sites1)
A coronary calcium scan is not covered by most insurance plans.
There are two price options.
- For $250, you will receive a cardiac calcium scan, a lipid panel, a same-day consultation with a cardiac imaging physician, and we will send the results to your referring physician within 24 hours.
- For $185, you will receive a cardiac calcium scan, a lipid panel, and we will send the results to your referring physician within 24 hours.
To Purchase a Gift Certificate
To purchase a gift certificate, please call (310) 423-5678.
We also offer Coronary CT Angiography (CCTA), which uses a similar radiation dose as a Coronary Calcium Scan to analyze the blood vessels supplying the heart.
Please call (310) 423-8000 and press 15 to schedule an appointment. You will need to provide the phone number of a physician to whom the results will be sent.
On the left: a normal coronary calcium scan, showing no plaque. On the right, plaque shows white on the scan.
1 Nakazato R, Dey D, Gutstein A, Le Meunier L, Cheng V, Pimentel R, Paz W, Hayes SW, Thomson LEJ, Friedman JD, Berman DS. Coronary artery calcium scoring using a reduced tube voltage and radiation dose protocol with dual-source Computed Tomography. Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography 2009; 394-400; D Dey, R Nakazato, R Pimentel, W Paz, SW Hayes, J Friedman, V Cheng, PJ Slomka, L Thomson, DS Berman. Low radiation coronary calcium scoring by dual-source CT with tube-current optimization based on patient body size. e-pub available. Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography 2012;6:113-120; Voros S, Rivera JJ, Berman DS, Blankstein R, Budoff MJ, Cury RC, Desai MY, Dey D, Halliburton SS, Hecht HS, Nasir K, Santos RD, Shapiro MD, Taylor AJ, Valeti US, Young PM, Weissman G. Guideline for minimizing radiation exposure during acquisition of coronary artery calcium scans with the use of multidetector computed tomography: A report by the Society for Atherosclerosis Imaging and Prevention Tomographic Imaging and Prevention Councils in collaboration with the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography. Journal of Cardiovascular CT 2011;5:75-83.