Calcium Scoring

Detecting heart disease at its earliest, most treatable stage

Calcium Scoring

The presence of calcium in the coronary arteries is a proven marker for atherosclerosis, the hardening and clogging of arteries that leads to most heart attacks. Unfortunately, it hasn't always been easy to find. Until now.

Iowa Heart Center's calcium scoring exam uses state-of-the-art computed tomography (CT) technology to detect calcium deposits in the coronary arteries, often years before the development of symptoms.

A growing problem

Heart disease is the number one killer of americans – both men and women. And for 250,000 americans each year, a fatal heart attack is the first and only symptom of the disease.

Cardiologists, in their efforts to prevent or reverse heart disease, have long been thwarted by the lack of an effective screening tool for atherosclerosis - the buildup of plaque that can clog arteries and lead to heart attacks.

Calcium scoring provides quick answers

In seconds, the state-of-the-art scanner can produce an image of your coronary arteries, and the calcium that may lie inside. More importantly, The scanner produces a picture of your future risk for heart disease, while there's still time to do something about it.

Risk Assessment with ARNP

Following your calcium scoring exam, you have the option of having a risk assessment consultation with one of our nurse practitioners. During this consultation, we'll go over your test results, your risk factors for heart disease and the nurse practitioner will use the latest medical information available to evaluate your risk for a cardiac event. Then the provider will recommend lifestyle changes you can make to help lower your risk.

If you have a lipid profile in the last 6 months, please bring it with you. Otherwise we will do a fasting fingsterstick for a nominal fee that day.

Who can benefit from a calcium scoring exam?

Calcium scoring is recommended for men over age 45 and women over age 55 who have risk factors for heart disease. These include:

  • high blood pressure
  • high cholesterol
  • diabetes
  • smoking
  • family history of heart disease
  • over ideal body weight

The exam is not for individuals who already have heart disease, or who have symptoms of heart disease such as chest pain or shortness of breath.

For more information on calcium scoring, or to schedule an appointment, call (515) 633-3700.