Coronary Health Screening
Calcium Scoring is the only screening test available that can help detect the presence of heart disease.
What is coronary calcium scoring?
This test allows your New Mexico Heart Institute cardiologist to learn where and how much calcified plaque may be in your coronary arteries – the vessels that carry blood to your heart muscle.
Calcified plaque is the build-up of cholesterol inside the walls of the heart arteries: “hardening of the arteries.” Calcified plaque can mean the presence of coronary artery disease, which increases the risk of heart attacks.
A calcium score takes about 10 seconds. The amount of radiation exposure during this test is equivalent to what women receive with a mammogram. No injections are required. It’s not only safe, it couldn’t be simpler.
How is calcium scoring done?
The entire procedure takes about 30 minutes in total, which includes registering at the front desk, completing a brief evaluation, performing the test, and receiving final instructions.
After changing into a gown, you’ll lie down on the imaging table while a CT technologist places EKG leads on your chest. Then you will be moved into the scanner and asked to hold your breath for about 10 seconds while the scan images are taken.
Who should have the Coronary Health Screening test?
Anyone whose doctor recommends it. General criteria is for men over 45 and women over 50 who may have such risk factors as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, previous tobacco use, obesity or a family history of cardiovascular disease. NMHI requires a referral from your primary care physician to have the screening or you can make an appointment with one of our cardiologists to make sure you need the screening.
Call us today with your referral or make an appointment with our cardiologists! 505-841-1000