Heart CT Profile

With the new Heart CT Profile™ from Citizens Medical Center Radiology department, you can actually see the level of calcium build-up in your arteries – very possibly in time to prevent serious heart disease.

What is a Heart CT Profile™

It’s a quick and simple, non-invasive, CT Scan of your heart that detects and measures the amount of calcium build-up in your coronary arteries. This information, along with other indicators, can present an overall picture of your heart’s health. As a result, you and your physician can select the most appropriate care plan.
Heart CT ScanIf you would like more information, or would like to schedule a Heart CT exam, either talk to your doctor or call Citizens Medical Center Centralized Scheduling at (361) 570-7277.

Heart CT Profile™ Facts

Who can benefit most?
Citizens Medical Center promotes the appropriate use of medical technology — the Heart CT Profile™ is not for everyone. The Heart CT Profile™ is most appropriate for men age 35-70 and women 40-70 who have any of the following risk factors:

  • Family history of heart disease
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight

The Heart CT Profile™ is not recommended for patients who have any of the following factors:

  • Pregnant
  • Known coronary artery disease
  • Resting heart rate above 90-95 beats per minute (resting tachycardia)

How Heart CT Profile™ works
A Heart CT scan is a form of the familiar CT (or CAT) scan, which captures cross-sectional images of the heart at sub-second rates. This unique CT technology allows the detection of small amounts of calcium in the coronary arteries.

With Heart CT Profile™, we can measure the buildup of plaque, if any, and compare it to the standard for your age and gender. This test, along with other indicators, presents an overall picture of your heart health. Together, this will help your physician develop an appropriate heart health plan.
Unlike many medical tests, Heart CT Profile™ is fast, painless and non-invasive. This test and CMC facilities have been specifically designed with your comfort in mind. There is no preparation necessary for a heart scan. The entire process only takes about 45 minutes.

What you will learn?
Heart CT Profile™ will give you two important pieces of information that are key to the long-term health of your heart:

  • The presence or absence of coronary calcium in your heart.
  • The degree of calcification in your heart.

Once the volume and density of the calcium is measured, a number is assigned to each area where calcium is observed, and those numbers are totaled to give you a total “calcium score.”

A few days later, you will receive your score in the mail. A report will also be sent to your physician. It will show how you fit into various age and risk profiles and whether you have any likelihood of obstructive coronary artery disease. Scores may range from zero, representing no calcium observed, to more than 400, indicating the presence of significant calcium build-up. CMC recommends sharing the results of your test with your physician to determine what, if any, follow-up steps need to be taken.

Your calcium score can help you in a number of ways:

  • It can detect the build-up of calcium earlier than any other technology
  • It can help your physician develop the appropriate prevention strategy
  • It can provide your physician with a tool that can measure the progression or regression of calcium build-up (atherosclerosis)
  • It can reduce the need for other, more expensive and invasive tests
  • It can give you peace of mind

Things to know before you schedule
We encourage all of our patients to work with their physician in incorporating the results of this test into their own preventive health care plan. However, a physician referral for this test is not necessary. The Heart CT profile™ is a short non-invasive scan. After the scan is completed, you’ll receive a report by a board certified physician. At this time, most major health plans consider this a non-covered service. Payment is due at the time of your scan.