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To obtain a coronary calcification score, special CAT scans are used to evaluate the amount of calcium that has become lodged in the heart's blood vessels. Coronary calcification occurs when calcium clings to the blood vessel walls and can cause heart problems such as chest pain or even heart attack.
This fairly simple test is a recent addition to the many different ways doctors diagnose heart problems. While experts are still determining if this test is truly efficient, it has been effective in revealing the presence of blockages. It does not, however, offer specifics that would help in formatting a treatment plan, such as how large the blockages are, or where exactly they have lodged. Instead, when these CAT scans detect coronary calcification, it is treated as an indicator that the patient needs more tests to determine the extent of the problem.
A high coronary calcification score will require further evaluation and possible treatment. A low coronary calcification score, however, generally indicates a good outlook for the patient, with little further treatment being required.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|