Components of the CT Scan Screening

Heart CT Scan (Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring)

Images from state-of-the-art CT scanners at Emory are used by nationally renowned cardiac imagers to measure the amount of calcium in your coronary arteries. The presence of calcium is an accurate marker of atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of the arteries caused by the buildup of plaque. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other substances found in the blood. Two-thirds of heart attacks are caused by the rupture of plaques which do not significantly narrow the coronary artery. Your calcium score measures plaque burden on your arteries. Your calcium score will be provided in terms of both an absolute score and percentile based upon age, gender and ethnicity. The percentile is a measure of how many people with similar background have less calcium than you and provides a measure of relative risk.

Blood Pressure

Normal blood pressure is considered to be 120/80 mm Hg or less. High blood pressure is considered 140/90 mm Hg or more. If left untreated, high blood pressure may cause stroke, heart disease and damage to your kidneys or eyesight. High blood pressure is often called the silent killer because damage may occur to your body without your feeling any symptoms. Fortunately, treatment is usually simple and effective.

Cholesterol and Lipid Profile

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that occurs naturally in all parts of the body. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly. High levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of heart disease. Your fasting lipid profile and the normal ranges will be provided in your report. Cholesterol and abnormal lipids may be treated by diet, exercise and medication.

Fasting glucose

Fasting glucose measures your blood sugar level to test for the possible presence of early diabetes, which is a treatable condition. At times diabetes does not manifest for many years and your heart may be suffering from it without you knowing it.

Framingham Risk Score

The combination of blood pressure and cholesterol are used to provide a measure of risk called the Framingham Risk Score. The resulting score is your risk of suffering a heart attack within 10 years. (Note: Your score is not valid if you are taking medication for high cholesterol.)

Vascular Age

Your vascular age tells you how old the average person is with your background and calcium score.

Your Overall Cardiovascular Risk

Your Framingham Risk Score and calcium score are evaluated to determine your overall cardiovascular risk. This assessment can be used to guide management of risk before serious health problems develop. You are encouraged to share your report with your primary care physician.

Call 404-778-7777 to schedule your CT scan today!