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CT Scan Can Detect Calcium Build-Up

CT Scan For HeartA recent article published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, shows that coronary calcium build up in the heart detected by a coronary artery CT scan was linked to an increased risk of stroke or heart attack. These risks exist even in patients who did not have symptoms of heart disease.

“Most people feel that going for a stress test is enough, a more secure way to find out if you are at risk is the coronary artery CT scan,” said Dr. Steven Shayani, Medical Director of Long Island Heart Associates and Outpatients Services for Long Island for Mount Sinai Medical Center.

The CT Scan is a speedy test that takes a clear picture of your heart for the cardiologist to examine, and the results show the amount of calcium build up in your coronary arteries. These results can signify your level of risk for heart disease such as stroke or heart attack.

The study that proved the effectiveness of the coronary artery CT Scan was lead by Khurram Nasir, MD MPH, and was completed at Yale University. Their investigation confirmed the benefits of this test. Additionally, there is the Calcium Score test, which is a bit different; it shows the actual amount of calcium build up you have around your coronary artery instead of just the picture. The ideal score should be zero, and anything above zero indicates risk.

The doctors at Long Island Heart Associates frequently complete CT Scans and Calcium Score testing in order to investigate risk among patients, though sometimes one test will not show the overall picture.

“I feel my patients deserve to know their risk factors so we can work together to resolve and prevent,” said Dr. Shayani. “Many of the patients in the study did not have elevated cholesterol or elevated LDL (bad cholesterol). These patients frequently go untreated, without even knowing they are at risk.”

To schedule an appointment for a coronary artery CT Scan or to learn more about how to ensure long-term heart health, contact the LIHA location nearest you.

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