Date Added: 15/03/2016

Date Updated: 15/03/2016

Screening for coronary artery disease using CT calcium scoring in asymptomatic patients

Specialties: Cardiovascular disease & vascular surgery

Technology Type: Programmes

Stage of development: Established

Stage of EAA: Assessment Complete

Description, patients and keywords:

Computed tomography (CT) calcium scoring for screening asymptomatic patients for coronary artery disease

CT calcium scoring, an established technology, measures the degree of calcification in the coronary arteries using computed tomography. The amount of calcification in the arteries gives an indication of the amount of atherosclerosis and therefore the risk of a heart attack or stroke.1

CT calcium scoring works by detecting calcified lesions based on the relative brightness of pixels, measured in Hounsfield units (HU).2 Where a lesion has two or three pixels with a HU above 130, it is considered calcified. A weighting density factor is also added. The individual scores from each of the four main coronary arteries are then totalled to give an overall coronary artery calcium (CAC) score. The scores are then used to categorise the level of risk, with a score of 0 being normal, 1-10 minimal, 11-100 mild, 101-399 moderate and ≥400 severe. A score above 100 is the best predictor of the presence of coronary artery disease (CAD).2

MESH terms: Coronary calcium scoring, screening



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