CT scAN of coronary calcification

Computer tomography can easily and safely detect calcifications of the coronary arteries. The imaging under heart (ECG) triggering required for this purpose is only possible with special CT scanners. The dual-source CT scanner used in our clinics includes two high resolution detectors and tubes offset by 94° each that facilitate individual imaging in the span of only one heart beat even at higher heart rates. Therefore, this device is extremely dose-efficient and uses a total dose of far less than 1mSv. Compared to cardiac catheter examinations and even conventional CT scans, this is a dose reduction of approx. 70 – 85%. Today, this technology is available only in very few clinics worldwide.

To capture and quantify coronary calcification a contrast medium is not necessary, and this procedure eliminates the need for a preparatory lab exam to determine the kidney and thyroid function. We document the extent of calcification primarily semiquantitatively as established in medical studies and thus recommended by the medical societies according to the method developed by Agatston et al. In addition, the degree of calcification is also measured quantitatively in cm³ and the calcium amount (hydroxylapatite) in mg/ml, which allows for a much more reliable and also reproducible tracing of changes over time. The extend of calcification in the coronary arteries correlates very significantly with the risk of developing a heart attack within the next 5 years.. Besides the calcium score, age and gender of the patient play an important role as well, since the degree of calcification of the coronary arteries rises with age, regardless of other risk factors. Therefore, an assessment is always age- and gender-specific in order to better calculate the individual risk.

A CT-based coronary calcification scan is well-suited as part of a preventative screening in particularly exposed patient groups, but also as an additional independent risk assessment method for patients with increased cardiac risk factors, such as high nicotine consumption, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, diabetes mellitus, family history, or insufficient physical exercise. This procedure generally provides a quick, reliable, low-dose and non-invasive individual risk assessment of a potentially present coronary heart disease (CHD).

For more detailed questions regarding clinical indications, examination techniques and cost coverage, please contact our specialists Prof. Herzog and Prof. Johnson. Both have many years of clinical and scientific experience in cardiac imaging and are internationally recognized specialists based on their numerous publications and conference presentations.

Calcification of coronary arteries in a CT scan.

Koronararterien-Verkalkungen im CT

Koronararterien-Verkalkungen im CT