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Cardiac CT Calcium Scoring

What does my score mean?

Scores indicate the extent of calcification in the heart's coronary arteries, which indicates the presence of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. The scores range from 0 - 400. Determining the extent of cardiac risk requires your doctor to interpret your calcium score in combination with other tests and risk factors.

A negative cardiac CT scan shows no calcification within the coronary arteries. This suggests that CAD is minimal and that the chance of having a heart attack over the next two to five years is very low.

A positive test means that CAD is present, regardless of whether or not the patient is experiencing any symptoms. The amount of calcification-expressed as the calcium score-may help to predict the likelihood of a myocardial infarction(heart attack) in the coming years. 

Calcium Score Presence of CAD
0 No evidence of CAD
1-10 Minimal evidence of CAD
11-100 Mild evidence of CAD
101-400 Moderate evidence of CAD
Over 400 Extensive evidence of CAD




What are the risk factors?

A cardiac CT for calcium scoring is to determine if CAD is present and to what extent, even if there are no symptoms. It is a screening study that may be recommended by a physician for patients with risk factors for CAD but no clinical symptoms.

According to the American Heart Associa­tion, the following are major contributors and other risk factors for heart disease:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Smoking
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Being overweight

It is important to remember that this assessment is only intended as an estimate of your risk of heart disease or a heart attack. Talk to your doctor to find out if calcium scoring makes sense for you.