A Computerised Tomography Calcium Score (CTCS) is used to assess why you are experiencing chest pain, in particular those who are at moderate risk of coronary artery disease.
A CTCS is a non-invasive imaging study which is quick and painless. It’s used to estimate the amount of coronary artery plaque a patient may have. This can help assess the risk of a possible cardiac event within five years – the more plaque the higher the risk of an adverse cardiac event.
CTCS is not suitable for patients with established coronary disease, clinical history of heart attack or stent insertion.
How do I prepare?
- Please don’t have any caffeine for 12 hours prior to your appointment. (This includes Coke, Tea, Coffee and Chocolate) Drinking water is fine and we recommend you remain hydrated.
- Please arrive early for your exam as you will be asked to change into a gown. Wearing a two piece outfit can make this easier for you.
- If you are on any medication, it’s very important you follow the instructions given to you by your referring Doctor about whether to continue or cease taking them.
Technology and Team
At Queensland X-Ray we use a range of CT scanners, all of which provide low-dose radiation.
CTCS patients will be cared for by one of our Radiographers who remain with you throughout your procedure.
What happens during my examination
You will be asked to change into a gown before your examination and the Radiographer will explain exactly what will happen during your procedure. It may vary slightly from what we describe below, so don’t worry.
For some CT imaging we require you to have an injection of contrast. The contrast will help light up a particular area of your body so it’s easier to see. You may feel a hot flush feeling for a moment as the contrast enters your body or a metallic taste in your mouth. This is perfectly normal and only lasts a few minutes. Over the course of the day the contrast solution will be naturally absorbed by your body with no side effects. This procedure isn’t advised for those allergic to iodine or shellfish.
You will have electrocardiograph (ECG) patches attached to your chest so we can monitor your heart rate during the scan.
Your Radiographer will ask you to enter the CT room and you will be asked to lay down on the bed. The Radiographer will make you comfortable and then leave the room.
The CT scanner looks like a doughnut (the technical word for it is a gantry), with a bed passing through the middle. You will be asked to lie on the bed as still as you can as the bed moves through the opening in the gantry. The gantry isn’t a long narrow tunnel – it is actually quite wide and short.
The bed will move slowly into the gantry and then slowly out again. Throughout the scan, you may be asked to hold your breath for a few seconds.
A typical CT will last between 5 – 30 minutes.
At the end of the examination, you will be able to redress and leave.
After your examination
The results of your CTCS will be sent directly to your referring Doctor. Please ensure you book a timely follow-up appointment to discuss your results with them.
If you wish to receive your results online, you can do so by subscribing to our Patient Portal.
There are currently no Medicare rebates available for CTCS . A private fee applies.
Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.