notification Created with Sketch. CORONAVIRUS: We are still taking precautions to keep you safe Coronavirus (Respiratory infections) Update

CT Coronary Artery Calcium Score

This page contains information for a CT Coronary Artery Calcium Score. Please contact us with any further questions prior to your examination.

What is a CT coronary artery calcium score scan?

A CT coronary artery calcium score scan looks for deposits of calcium in the arteries that supply the heart. Calcium in these arteries occurs when there is a build-up of plaque which narrows the vessel. The calcium score is the measurement of the build-up and can be used to detect early heart disease. Your score can range from 0 to >1000. Your referrer will explain the implications of your score after the scan.

What should I do before my scan?

If there is any chance you are pregnant please reshedule your scan. Do not drink or eat anything containing caffeine (e.g. tea, coffee or cola) from midnight before the scan. Please continue to take any medication as normal.

Checklist on the day of your scan: 

  • Do have a light breakfast
  • Do arrive 10 minutes before your appointment
  • Do take sips of water before your scan to keep hydrated

Asking for your consent

The radiographer will ask if you are happy for the scan to go ahead. This is called verbal consent. You will also be asked to sign a form to agree to have the injection. Your radiographer will go through this form in detail. It is your decision, and you can change your mind at any time. Please ask any questions you have at any point.

What happens during the scan? 

We will:

  • Ask you to change into a gown with the opening at the front (to allow for the easy application of ECG electrodes)
  • Have you lie down on the CT table
  • The Radiographer will apply ECG electrodes to your chest to monitor your heart rate (we may need to shave some areas, so the ECG electrodes stick correctly)
  • During the scan you will need to raise your arms above your head (resting on the table) and follow some easy breathing instructions
  • The whole procedure should not take more than 15 minutes

What happens after the scan?

After the scan you are free to leave the department when you are ready. The results will be sent to your referrer after 48 hours.

What are the risks?

CT scans use radiation, the same as X-rays but the radiation used is very small and the benefits outweigh the risks. Anyone of child bearing age (12-55 years old) will need to confirm that there is no possibility of pregnancy, due to the radiation exposure during the examination.

Contact us

Please contact the Imaging team about any general concerns on 0207 467 4317. However, if you experience any symptoms of concern please contact your GP or go to your local Emergency Department (A&E).

Your comments and concerns

If you have any questions or concerns about your medicines, please speak to the staff caring for you. For support or advice please speak to your consultant or the Imaging department on 0207 467 4317.

Language and accessible support services

If you need an interpreter or information about your care in a different language or format, please get in touch.

Looking for more information our Diagnostic and Imaging services?

Visit our webpage for more information.