Anyone have an opinion on Calcium Score Test?
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rinahen posted:
I recently visited a cardiologist regarding the results of a vascular screening test (VAP) that my internist offered me to take back in December. For the past year, my cholesterol levels have been high, I'm on blood pressure and thyroid meds, and I have a family history of heart disease (my dad and his brothers). So some of the results of the test were alarming, thus making the appointment to see a cardiologist. She suggested that I have a coronary calcium screening test (score) to determine the presence of early CAD. I was already to go for it until I started researching on the internet about the test and the risks of course of radiation... wondering if her treatment would make a difference on the results of the scan. Since December, I have been kicking myself into gear trying to get healthier, exercising, watching my diet, stress levels, etc... really have been working hard. My cholesterol was rechecked a couple of weeks ago and my LDL came down thirty points from 161 to 133; HDL remained at 73, triglicerides were 102, and total cholesterol was 226, down from 254. Improvement but still not great. I am just so nervous about exposing myself to radiation if it is unecessary. I guess I could just go ahead and get on statins and be done with it.... Am looking for any suggestions or comments about my situation ... am really nervous about it ....

Rina
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bobby75703 responded:
You bring up a good point about the radiation exposure. I had always understood that the test is done if there is just cause for suspicion of CAD.

If you are curious what the inside of your arteries look like, you could always do an ultrasound of your neck, heart valves, and leg arteries to see if you have developed any plaque in those areas. This is perfectly safe with no radiation.

I did this and found my arteries to be squeeky clean despite a strong family history of heart disease.

The Tech said he couldn't view with ultrasound the chest area where arteries branch off from the heart. But it offered me reassurance knowing what they could see, was clear.