Computed Tomography Heart (Calcium Screening)
Computed tomography (CT) is an advanced imaging system that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce comprehensive images of your heart. This exam is designed to measure the amount of calcified, or hard, plaque in the small arteries that supply the heart. This "calcium score" is extensively studied and can be used to help determine your specific risk for a future heart attack.
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR MY EXAM?
- No caffeine in the 24 hours before your examination.
- Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your appointment.
- Take all prescribed medications as directed.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING MY EXAM?
- You may be asked to change into scrubs.
- You will be asked to lie on your back on the bed of the CT scanner, which will then be adjusted for correct placement.
- Your technologist will place electrocardiograph (EKG) patches on your chest to watch your heart rate.
- Your technologist will leave the room to begin your exam, but you will be in direct communication throughout your procedure.
- On a few occasions, you may be asked to hold your breath (for 10-15 seconds) to help obtain specific images.
- At the end of your exam, your technologist will help you off the bed and guide you back to your change room. You are then free to leave.
WHEN WILL I GET MY RESULTS?
We do our best to have our radiologists interpret the information and forward the results to your doctor by the next business day.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
In Calgary, CT exams are provided at our Mayfair Place location as private pay exams and are not covered by Alberta Health Care. Prices are per body area. If additional body areas are scheduled within the same appointment, discounts apply. For example, the abdomen is one body area, while the spine is divided into three body areas. We also offer Health Assessment packages.
We offer a 10% Seniors discount (65+) that can be applied to the total CT exam.
Your health spending account or group medical insurance plan may cover the cost of a private CT that is prescribed by a qualified health care practitioner. You will need to check with your plan administrator for coverage details.
Please note that if contrast is needed, it’s an additional cost of $125.