Coronary calcium score: prevention and prognosis in 10 minutes


Dr. Víctor Atallah, Cardiologist Specialist in Nuclear Cardiology and Coronary Angiotomography, General Hospital of the Plaza de la Salud.

The presence of calcium in the coronary arteries is an indicator of coronary atherosclerotic disease and risk prognosis.

Coronary artery disease (CAD) remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the world and despite many advances in its treatment, many patients are not identified in time (before suffering a major event), so it is vital It is important to develop methods to identify them, especially those at risk of suffering a primary cardiac event, since once the first event has passed, we have lost much of the battle and the patients already deserve much more care and have a much greater risk.

The big problem is that this first event usually does not give signs or symptoms, so it is extremely important to predict, predict and, above all, prevent. This should be a priority concern within public and personal health policies.

Atherosclerosis is the main cause or trigger of cardiac events, heart attacks or strokes (stroke), detecting it in time is one of the most important measures to prevent heart events.

Cardiac computed tomography (CT) for quantification of coronary calcium uses special x-ray equipment to create images of coronary arteries, to determine if they have plaque buildup, an indicator of atherosclerosis or coronary artery disease. The information obtained can help assess whether you have a high risk of heart attack.

The calcium score shows the amount of calcium within the coronary artery plaque, this data cannot be examined directly with other non-invasive diagnostic means.

Why measure calcium in the coronary arteries (CAC)? The presence of calcium in the coronary arteries is indicative of atherosclerotic plaque or atherosclerosis. People suffering from this disease have a higher risk of heart attacks. The calcium "score" by volumetric CT scan of multiple cuts is a technique that gives precise information about the presence, location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries, blood vessels that carry oxygenated blood to the heart muscle.

The objective of the cardiac CT scan for the quantification of coronary calcium is to determine if the CAD is present and to what degree, even when there are no symptoms. It is an exploratory study that the doctor can recommend to patients who have risk factors for having a CAD.

The major risk factors associated with CAD are the following: age (at older age, higher risk) high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, abnormally high blood cholesterol levels, family history, being overweight or being obese physically inactive.

Cardiac tomography to verify the quantification of coronary calcium is a practical and non-invasive way of assessing whether you are at a higher risk of having a heart attack.

The results of the cardiac CT are expressed in calcium score that also adjusts to the age and sex of the person estimating event risks.

Posted in: Hoy Digital newspaper. 

Related Posts