What is Coronary Calcium Scan ?

By  ,  National Institute of Health
Jul 19, 2010

A coronary calcium scan is a test that can help show whether you have coronary heart disease (CHD), also called coronary artery disease. CHD is the most common type of heart disease in both men and women.


In CHD, a substance called plaque (plak) builds up inside your coronary arteries. These arteries supply your heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood. Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood.


Plaque narrows your coronary arteries and reduces blood flow to your heart muscle. It also makes it more likely that blood clots will form in your coronary arteries. Blood clots can partly or completely block blood flow to part of your heart muscle. This can cause chest pain or discomfort called angina (an-JI-nuh or AN-juh-nuh) or a heart attack.


CHD also can lead to heart failure or arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs). Heart failure is a condition in which your heart can't pump enough blood to meet your body's needs. Arrhythmias are problems with the rate or rhythm of your heartbeat.

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