Education & Diagnosis
Cardiac Calcium Scoring
Coronary artery calcium, or CAC, has been identified as a part of the atherosclerotic process, or hardening of the arteries. The presence of CAC is directly related to the development of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events.
Advances in technology have allowed doctors to measure the amount of calcium in the coronary arteries with a resulting score to indicate risk. In multiple studies, this score has been linked with the presence of atherosclerosis, but more importantly, with the amount of atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries. The higher the score, the higher the risk of a cardiovascular event in the following five years.
The accuracy in predicting cardiovascular events with a calcium score is significantly higher compared with evaluating common risk factors, such as smoking, diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.
Memorial Hermann offers this noninvasive screening through electron-beam and multi-detector computed tomography, which uses less than one-third of typical radiation exposure.
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