Heart scans ,also known as coronary calcium scans,provide pictures of your heart's arteries (coronary arteries) .Doctors uses heat scans to look for calcium deposits in the coronary arteries that can narrow your arteries and increase your hear attack risk.The result is often called a CORONARY CALCIUM SCORE.
Heart scans can show that you may have a higher risk of having a heart attack or other problems before you have any obvious symptoms of heart disease.Heart scans are not for every one,though some walk in medical facilities advertise that you can walk in for quick check of your coronary arteries ,be caution of these offers.
The American diabetic association and American college of cardiology do not recommend routine use of heart scans on peoples who do not have symptoms of heart disease and who do not smoke or have cardiac risk factors,such as elevated cholesterol or high blood pressure.
A heart scan is not useful if you have,
LOW HEART ATTACK RISK-,for example if you are younger than 55 years of old,have normal cholesterol and blood pressure levels and do not smoke,your heart attack risk percentage may be calculated at less than 10%,putting you in lower risk category.It means that because you have few risk factors you have less than a 10% chance of of having heart attack in the next 10 years,So if you have low risk heart scan probably would not tell you anything and your doctor do not already know.
HIGH HEART ATTACK RISK- Having a 20% or greater risk of having heart attack in the next 10 years means you are at high risk,if you have high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure,smoke and older than 65,you are likely in this category.If you are at high risk,a ,HEART SCAN would not do you much good That because you and your doctor already knows that you are at risk based upon your risk factors and you should take steps to prevent heart attack,such as taking medic ens or making significant life style changes.
You also should not have a heart scan if you already had heart attack or have a surgical procedure,such as angioplasty,or coronary bypass surgery to treat coronary arteries disease,in these case,your doctor already know,you have artery disease and you are at high risk of having heart attack.A heart scan would not provide any more information,on how your condition should be treated.
WHEN A HEART SCAN MIGHT BE USEFUL-
A heart scan may give you information about your heart risk if you fall in the intermediate heart attack risk category.This means based on your risk factors ,your risk of having heart attack in the next 10 years,falls between 10 and 20%,for example,you may be considered to have an intermediate heart attack risk if you are between the 55and 65 years and have borderline High cholesterol,or blood pressure or are smoker.Your doctor can help you determine what your risk level is. A HEART SCAN MAY BE USEFUL IF YOU AT INTERMEDIATE RISK OR IF YOU HAVE CHEST PAIN,ESPECIALLY IF IT IS UNCLEAR WHETHER A HEART PROBLEM IS THE CULPRIT .
Also there is evidence that peoples whose calcium score show of risk of heart disease are more motivated to make life style changes,such as losing weight and quitting smoking than those who do not get scanned.
Extracted from (http//www.fortishealthcare.com)