A CAC score is used to determine how much calcium is found in your heart’s arterial walls. The test is also known by several other names, such as: cardiac CT for calcium scoring, cardiac scoring, coronary calcium score, calcium scan of the heart, and calcium scan test. Your results will be used to estimate your likelihood of having a stroke or heart attack, as well as developing heart disease.
Obtaining a CAC score translates because the majority of calcium found in our body is in our teeth and bones, because it helps keep them strong. If calcium is found in the arteries that supply your heart with essential nutrients and oxygen, this could suggest trouble in your future. This is the case because calcium deposits found in your coronary arteries could also point to a buildup of a waxy material known as plaque. Plaque in your arteries could harden over time, narrowing and sometimes even blocking your arteries. And if your arteries become blocked by plaque, you could develop atherosclerosis, a condition that makes you at higher susceptibility of a stroke, heart attack, and more.
A CAC score is given numerically, ranging from 0 to more than 400. The higher your score, the more evidence suggesting calcium as well as thickening has been detected in your arterial lining. A CAC score, however, discusses your chances of developing disease. That being said, even individuals with a CAC score of 0 could have a heart attack, stroke, or develop cardiac disease–their risk is just low.
Your CAC score will help your physician determine what treatment route is ideal for you. Strategies moving forward could incorporate at least one or more of the following:
- Dietary adjustments
- Different medication
- Adjustments to your workout routine
- Additional testing
- New weight-loss goals
- Follow-up appointments to keep your health in check and assess whether or not your treatment plan is effective
If your Ezra physicians deems you at higher risk of developing cardiac issues, they will add a low-dose CT scan to your MRI free of charge. If you’re interested in learning more about our pricing options and screening plans, you may do so at the following link.