Heart Scan (Coronary Calcium Scan)


This scan creates images of your heart. They're made with a CT scanner and show more detail than you can see with a regular x-ray. A heart scan helps your doctor diagnose heart disease, or see if you are at risk for it.

Why it's done

A heart scan lets your doctor see and measure any plaque collected inside your coronary arteries. These are the vessels that supply blood to your heart tissue. If plaque narrows your arteries, you could have a heart attack or other problems.

During your scan

To begin the scan, sticky electrode pads are put your chest. They record your heart's activity during the scan. You lie on your back on a table that slides into the CT machine. Your head stays outside of the machine. A technician controls the CT machine from the next room. The images are taken between your heartbeats. That's when your heart is relaxed. You'll hear clicking and whirring sounds during the scan.

After the scan

When the scan is finished, you can go home. Your doctor will review your results and let you know if you need treatment or further testing.