A CAC score (coronary calcium score, cardiac scoring, et cetera) evaluates how much calcium is found in the arterial walls of your heart. Your results are then used to approximate your likelihood of having a stroke or heart attack, or developing heart disease. Most of the calcium found in our body is in our teeth and bones; its function is to keep them healthy and strong. If calcium is found in your arteries (which supply the body and heart with oxygen and other nutrients), however, this can be indicative of looming cardiac trouble. This is because calcium deposits identified in your coronary arteries could also be indicative of the buildup of a waxy material known as plaque. Plaque could harden with time, narrowing or even blocking your arteries. You could develop a disease known as atherosclerosis which, in turn, leaves you more susceptible to a heart attack or stroke. CAC scores are evaluated via CT scan.
According to the American College of Cardiology, CAC scoring is best put to use under specific circumstances, because it can even help gauge your risk if you aren’t showing symptoms. Additionally, it’s looked at as a tool that you and your medical providers can use to determine your ideal treatment approach.
Your CAC score will determine what treatment route is best for you. The Mayo Clinic says that strategies moving forward could involve at least one or more of the following:
- Additional testing
- Different medication
- A different dose of medication
- New weight-loss goals
- Adjustments to your diet
- Adjustments to your workout routine
- Follow-up appointments to keep your health in check
- Follow-up appointments to assess if your treatment plan is effective
If your Ezra physicians deems you at a higher risk of developing cardiac issues, they will add in a low-dose CT scan to your MRI, free of charge. If you’re interested in learning more about our screening plans and pricing options, you may do so at the following link.