A CardioScan is a special type of CT scan that detects calcified plaque in the coronary arteries. This calcified plaque indicates the presence of coronary artery disease, commonly referred to as "hardening of the arteries." As more plaque builds up, the risk of a heart attack increases. Identifying plaque build-up early allows the patient and their provider to treat modifiable risk factors and determine whether additional testing is required to help prevent a heart attack.
“A CardioScan can help identify coronary artery disease before symptoms occur,” said Krista Clark, DO, physician at Hedrick Family Care. “This early detection allows us to initiate appropriate therapies, such as lifestyle changes and treatment of risk factors, to help slow down the progression of coronary artery disease.”
Persons should consider having a CardioScan if they meet one or more of the following criteria:
- Age 60 or older
- Mother or sister diagnosed with heart disease at age 65 or younger
- Father or brother diagnosed with heart disease at age 55 or younger
- Have a history of:
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol)
- Peripheral vascular disease
- Tobacco use, either current or former
The exam costs only $60, takes about ten minutes, and doesn’t involve needles, prep, injections, or an IV. The patient should set aside 30 to 60 minutes from check-in to check-out to allow time for the procedure and interpretation of the results. A Saint Luke’s cardiologist will interpret the CardioScan. The results will be discussed with the patient by a patient educator. Results will also be sent to the patient’s primary care provider and/or cardiologist who will give recommendations about beneficial lifestyle changes, treatment options, or determine if any additional testing is needed.
A provider referral is required. Persons interested should reach out to their primary care provider. For additional questions about CardioScans, persons can call Hedrick Medical Center’s Radiology department at 660-214-8320 or visit saintlukeskc.org/CardioScan. Persons without a primary care provider can establish with one by calling Hedrick Family Care at 660-646-2682.