Coronary Artery Calcification

Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) is a non-invasive, diagnostic test intended to detect calcium deposits in the coronary arteries. The amount of coronary calcium in the arteries has been recognized as a powerful predictor of future cardiac events and can be used as a guide for lifestyle modifications and preventive medical therapies to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Cardiac assessment is performed with the LightSpeed® VCT system from GE Healthcare, the latest revolution in CT technology. A complete exam takes about 15 minutes.

What should I expect?

Before your visit to our Vancouver Diagnostics Centre, your patient advisor will guide you and provide you with all the information you need to prepare for your CCTA.

Our expert technologist will escort you into the CT scanning room, containing a table and a large, circular device called a gantry. Your technologist will have you lie on the padded table and make sure that you’re comfortable.

You may feel the table move while images are being taken at certain locations of your body. You will be required to lie as still as possible and hold your breath for a short time during the scan in order to produce a clear image. Your technologist will monitor you during the entire exam and will be able to communicate with you through an intercom.

Specific details of your upcoming examination will be explained fully by one of our CT technologist or by your patient care coordinator.

After the CT Scan

Our radiologist will carefully analyze your CT images and provide a report to you and your physician. Once they have received the report your physician will then discuss the results with you.

Your CT technologist will also provide you with a CD containing the images from your scan when you leave.

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. In order to determine the extent of cardiac risk your doctor will need to interpret your calcium score in combination with other tests and risk factors.


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