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Heart Care

St. Luke's Heart Scan

What Can I Expect During the Scan? Information and Scheduling Meet Your Heart Scan Physician

Why get a heart scan?

Early detection is the key to prevention. A heart scan, or a coronary calcium score, is a simple test which can identify heart disease before symptoms appear. This can allow for early intervention, including lifestyle changes and preventive care, to avoid complications later in life and provides you with a personal risk score and assessment.

Other considerations include:
  • Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women among all racial and ethnic groups;
  • Every 40 seconds, an American suffers a heart attack;
  • Every minute, an American dies from a heart attack;
  • 50 percent of men and 63 percent of women who die suddenly of heart disease have no previous symptoms;
  • About 80 percent of people under the age of 65 who died of heart disease did so during their first heart attack.
Dr. Agarwal with Heart Scan Machine
Vikram Agarwal, MD, Medical Director of the St. Luke's Cardiovascular Imaging Team

Should I have the test?

If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, then you may be a candidate for this test.
  • Are you a man over 45?
  • Are you a woman over 55? Or, if you have passed menopause, have your ovaries been removed and you’re not taking estrogen?
  • Your brother/father were younger than 55 when they suffered a heart attack?
  • Your mother/sister were younger than 65 when they suffered a heart attack?
  • Do you have high cholesterol?
  • Do you have high blood pressure?
  • Do you have diabetes?
  • Are you overweight?
  • Are you sedentary?
  • Do you have a stressful lifestyle?
  • Do you have any other vascular disease?

Picture A

Picture cutline: No coronary artery calcium

Pictured: No coronary artery calcium

Picture B

Picture cutline: Severe coronary artery calcium

Pictured: Severe coronary artery calcium