Coronary artery calcium scoring (CACS) is a non-invasive test that estimates the amount of coronary artery plaque, by assessing the extent of coronary artery calcification using high-resolution CT scan. A high calcium score correlates with a moderate to high risk of a coronary event, or heart attack, within two to five years.
CACS has a high negative predictive value (up to 98%), which means if your calcium score is low then this correlates very well with you having a low risk of coronary artery disease. Coronary artery calcium scanning is not as useful in patients who have a low or very high risk, or in those with known coronary artery disease.
At Apex Radiology we routinely use CACS, at no additional charge, on each patient prior to CT coronary angiography to determine whether the coronary arteries are heavily calcified. If the calcium score is high, calcium may obscure the coronary arteries. The radiologist will review your CACS before staring CT coronary angiography.