Prevention Instead of a Heart Attack! Calcium Scoring for Early Detection of Arterial Constrictions
Heart disease caused by arteriosclerosis is currently the most common cause of death in men after the age of 40 and women after the age of 50. How do they come about?
Atherosclerosis can be understood as calcification of the arterial wall. It is favored by the following risk factors:
- Increased blood fat levels (cholesterol, lipids)
- High blood pressure
- Obesity, lack of exercise
- Family stress (genetic factors)
Advanced damage and narrowing of the coronary arteries leads to an insufficient supply of oxygen to the heart muscle (angina pectoris) and, in the further course or if the arteries are completely blocked, to a heart attack (myocardial infraction).
What is calcium scoring for?
Calcium scoring is an examination method that measures the degree of calcification of the coronary arteries. The result shows how much the vessels are calcified. It is therefore an indicator of a possible, increased risk of heart attack.
For whom is calcium scoring recommended?
Calcium scoring is recommended for men aged 40 and over and for women aged 50 and over to determine the risk of myocardial infarction in order to rule out coronary sclerosis. The examination is particularly suitable for people who do not have typical symptoms of coronary artery disease, but who have risk factors such as high blood pressure, high blood lipids or family history.
How is the investigation carried out?
Calcium scoring is an examination using computed tomography, it is carried out with moderate radiation exposure and without contrast media. The patients lie on their backs and the calcium measurement is carried out during a breath-holding phase of just a few seconds.
If deposits are already present, what further tests should be carried out?
If there is no calcification on your coronary arteries, coronary artery disease is unlikely. In any case, a healthy lifestyle is important in order to minimize risk factors. If there are already constricting deposits on the coronary arteries with a low or moderate degree of calcification, a non-invasive CT coronary angiography with contrast medium can be used for further clarification. If the degree of calcification is very high and typical symptoms such as tightness in the chest or chest pain on the left side, a cardiac catheter examination is required.
The PremiQaMed hospitals “Döbling” and “Confraternität” offer all the necessary examinations. Renowned cardiologists create the appropriate diagnostic program for each patient.
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