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CT Calcium Score Preparatio...

Your Guide to CT Calcium Score at Pall Mall Medical Newton-le-Willows

Information for patients having a CT Calcium Score

CT Calcium Scores are performed at Pall Mall Medical,
1 Belvedere Road,
Newton Le Willows, WA12 0JJ.

What is a CT Calcium Score?

This test is a non-invasive way for our cardiologists to assess your heart for coronary artery disease. It provides detailed information and pictures of your heart's arteries.
 
During the scan, your doctor will look for calcium deposits in the coronary arteries. This excess of calcium can cause the arteries to narrow, therefore increasing the risk of a heart attack. The result of this test is often called a coronary calcium score.

A CT calcium heart scan can provide a first indication that you maybe at a higher risk of having a heart attack, even before you show any symptoms. Detecting a build-up of calcium early means that modern treatments and lifestyle changes can make all the difference and help you avoid a future heart attack and other forms of vascular disease, such as stroke.

Are there any risks?

CT scanning involves the use of X-rays. Women who are or might be pregnant must inform a member of staff in advance of attending for your scan. Usually we suggest that you also let us know if it is longer than 10 days since your last period, otherwise we may ask you to take a pregnancy test to be sure. The amount of radiation used is more than an ordinary X-ray of the chest or body and is equal to the natural radiation that we receive from the atmosphere over a period of approximately three years.
 
You should let a staff member know if you have diabetes, kidney problems, asthma or any allergies, especially to iodine prior to attending for your scan. If you have ever had any major kidney problems a blood test may be performed before scanning called eGFR.

Are you required to make any special preparations?

To get the best possible pictures we like to have your heart beating at a steady rate between 55-65 beats per minute.
 
Before your scan, we may need to assess your heart rate and your blood pressure. If your heart rate is too high, we may need to give you a tablet which will temporarily slow your heart rate. The tablet can take approximately one hour to work.
 
Please bring with you a list of all your current medications with you.
 
It is also important to note that tea, coffee, cola and chocolate all contain caffeine which increases your heart rate. 
 
Please avoid all food and drinks containing caffeine for 24hrs before your scan.
 
Unless specifically instructed not to, you should continue to take all your current medications as per normal.
 
Many non-prescription pain killers and flu remedies contain caffeine. If you are currently taking these please stop for 24hrs prior to your scan and use non-caffeine alternatives.

Can you bring a relative/friend?

Yes, but for reasons of safety, they will not be able to accompany you into the examination room.

When you arrive

Please attend the reception desk and you will be taken to the radiology department where the CT scanning is carried out.

The procedure for your examination will be explained to you. If you have to undress for the procedure, you will be shown to a private cubicle where you will be asked to put on the gown provided.

What happens during the CT Calcium Score?

You will be taken into the special X-ray room and made comfortable lying on the couch. During the scan you will only hear slight buzzing, clicking and whirring sounds as the CT scanners revolves during the course of the procedure.

Once the scanning is complete, you may be asked to wait until it is determined that the images are of high enough quality for the radiologist to read.

Will it be uncomfortable?

No. You will not feel any pain, although you might feel a slight discomfort arising from having to lie still.

How long will it take?

The scanning process will then take about 20 minutes.

Are there any side-effects?

Not usually. You can drive home afterwards and may return to work as necessary.

Can you eat and drink afterwards?

Yes.

When will you get the results?

The scan will be examined after your visit and a written report on the findings sent to you within 3-5 working days.

Finally...

If you have any more questions or need any more information about your scan, please get in touch and one of our staff will be happy to help and advise you.

Directions

Pall Mall Medical,
1 Belvedere Road,
Newton Le Willows, WA12 0JJ.

Telephone: 0330 058 44 55