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All You Need to Know About CT Cardiac Calcium Scoring and Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary Artery Disease

Did you know more Americans die of heart disease than all types of cancer, combined? It is an unfortunate fact, but one that can be preventable with proper care and preventative screening. Via Radiology offers CT Cardiac Calcium Scoring, a method used to detect early stages of coronary artery disease. Read our latest blog to learn more about this deadly heart disease and what you can do to live a longer and healthier life.

What is Coronary Artery Disease?

Coronary disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States. Coronary artery disease (CAD) develops when the major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood, oxygen, and nutrients become damaged or diseased. Usually, cholesterol-containing deposits (plaque) in your arteries and inflammation are to blame for CAD.

What are Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease?

Coronary artery disease develops over decades, so it can be difficult to recognize any early symptoms. However, as plaque builds, you may experience some of the following signs and symptoms:

Chest Pain – Pressure or tightness in your chest. It may feel as if someone is standing on it.  This typically is felt on the middle or left side of the chest. It can be triggered by physical or emotional stress. In some people, the pain is sharp and felt in the neck, arm, or back.

Shortness of Breath – If your heart struggles with pumping blood to meet your needs, you may develop shortness of breath or extreme fatigue with exertion.

Heart Attack – A completely blocked coronary artery may cause a heart attack. The classic signs and symptoms of a heart attack include crushing pressure in your chest and pain in your shoulder or arm, sometimes with shortness of breath and sweating.

Note: Women are somewhat more likely than men are to experience less typical signs and symptoms of a heart attack, such as neck or jaw pain. Sometimes a heart attack occurs without any apparent signs or symptoms.

CAD Prevention – What Can You Do?

The best way for both men and women to prevent CAD is to adopt healthier lifestyles. This includes all of the following:

  • Avoid tobacco usage. This may be the most important step to decrease risk of CAD.
  • Control portion sizes by using smaller plates.
  • Eat a more colorful diet by adding more vegetables and fruits.
  • Limit unhealthy fats (saturated and trans)
  • Eat more lean protein such as fish, eggs, and poultry.
  • Reduce sodium intake. High sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Get Your CT Coronary Calcium Scan at Via Radiology

CT Cardiac Calcium Scoring is a non-invasive, pain-free and inexpensive scan used to assess coronary artery disease. Calcium is a marker of coronary artery disease (CAD), and this exam identifies the location and extant of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries, which are the vessels that supply oxygen to the heart wall. The result of this scan is called a Coronary Calcium Score. Furthermore, the amount of calcium or plaque detected in your coronary arteries is establishes your cardiac score. The score is obtained by a quick “CT” or “CAT” scan, which is an abbreviation for “computerized tomography”.

Via Radiology Offers Diagnostic Imaging in Seattle

Via Radiology offers Seattle diagnostic imaging services in the greater Seattle area, including ultrasoundMRIPETCT scansx-ray and other imaging modalities.  We also provide interventional services and screenings for lung cancer in addition to our breast imaging services. Contact Via Radiology at 206-306-1011 or online for more information.