Coronary Calcium Scans

Prevent and manage heart disease.

Comfortable, easy Missoula coronary calcium scans

Montana Imaging Center provides quick and comfortable coronary calcium scans as part of your comprehensive program for preventing and managing heart disease.

What is a Coronary Calcium CT Scan?

A cardiac CT scan for coronary calcium is a non-invasive way of obtaining information about the presence, location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries—the vessels that supply oxygen-containing blood to the heart muscle.


Calcified plaque results when there is a build-up of fat and other substances under the inner layer of the artery. This material can calcify which signals the presence of atherosclerosis, a disease of the vessel wall, also called coronary artery disease (CAD). People with CAD have an increased risk for heart attacks. Over time, progression of plaque build up can narrow the arteries or even close off blood flow to the heart. The result may be chest pain, sometimes called “angina,” or a heart attack.


Because calcium is a marker of CAD, the amount of calcium detected on a cardiac CT scan is a helpful prognostic tool. The findings on cardiac CT are expressed as a calcium score. Another name for this test is coronary artery calcium scoring.

Who Should Get a Coronary Calcium CT Scan?

This exam is recommended for men (age 35-70) and women (age 40-70) who have any of the following risk factors:

  • Family history of heart disease
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight

 

Cardiac calcium scoring is not for everyone. If you have any of the following, the exam is not recommended:

  • Prior heart attack, angioplasty/stent or bypass surgery
  • Resting heart rate above 90-95 beats per minute
  • Cardiac implants including mechanical heart valves, pacemaker wires and/or stents
  • Current Pregnancy

What Can I Expect?

Coronary calcium CT is quick and noninvasive. No special preparation is necessary in advance of a cardiac CT examination. You should continue to take your usual medications, but should avoid caffeine and smoking for four hours prior to the exam.
You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your exam. You may be given a gown to wear during the procedure.


Metal objects, including jewelry, eyeglasses, dentures and hairpins, may affect the CT images and should be left at home or removed prior to your exam. You may also be asked to remove hearing aids and removable dental work. Women will be asked to remove bras containing metal underwire. You may be asked to remove any piercings, if possible.


Our Board Certified Radiologists will analyze the images and send an official report to your primary care physician and/or provider who referred you for the exam, who will discuss the results with you

Get in,
get scanned,
get back out.

Get your scan today and have the report back in 72 hours.