Calcium Scoring


With CT

Calcium Scoring at ZP

More than a million Americans have a heart attack each year, and nearly half of them are fatal. Over half the people who die from a heart attack have no symptoms.

Coronary Artery Disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Every 36 seconds one person dies from cardiovascular disease, and every 40 seconds someone suffers from a heart attack.

Fortunately, a Calcium Scoring test is a non-invasive test that uses a CT scan to measure the amount of calcified plaque in your coronary arteries. In roughly ten minutes, this test can help determine your risk for a heart attack and predict your risk for future heart attacks.

About Calcium Scoring

What is it?

This non-invasive test uses a CT scan to measure the amount of calcified plaque in your coronary arteries. The test measures your “calcium score," which helps your doctor calculate your risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD)-related events such as a heart attack or a stroke.

What does it show that other tests do not?

The calcium score test shows the amount of coronary artery calcium in the coronary artery plaque, which cannot be directly imaged non-invasively. In addition, the vessels of the heart are five times more likely than those of other organs to make plaque. So, if you want to get a good idea of whether or not you are a “plaque builder,” then a CT scan of the heart might predict other types of non-coronary diseases too.

Calcium Score Results

The greater the coronary calcium score, the larger the amount of plaque is in the artery wall, and the greater the risk of a heart attack. The calcium score is thus a good predictor of a heart attack.


No plaque. Your risk of heart attack is low.


Small amount of plaque. You have less than a 10% chance of having heart disease.


Some plaque. You have mild heart disease and a moderate chance of heart.


You have heart disease and plaque may be blocking an artery. Your chance of having a heart attack is moderate to high.

Over 400

You have more than a 90% chance that plaque is blocking one of your arteries. Your chance of heart attack is high.


During the test

Calcium scoring scans take about five minutes and are painless. Electrodes will be attached to your chest and to an electrocardiograph machine that will record your heart’s electrical activity.

You will lie on a table that is attached to the CT unit. The table will move through the machine as you’re being scanned. You may be asked to hold your breath while images are recorded. Normal activities can be resumed immediately.


Learn About the different Types of CT Exams

How to Prepare

No preparation is needed. Wear comfortable clothes and take your normal medications. Be sure to inform the receptionist and technologist if there is any chance of pregnancy.

Zwanger-Pesiri has been setting the standard in patient care in New York for over 65 years. We combine the latest and medical imaging, specialized radiologist, and patient-centric experience.

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