ZocdocAnswersDo calcium screening tests take place at cardiologic consultaions?

Question

Do calcium screening tests take place at cardiologic consultaions?

I am a 52 year old male and would like to have all necessary tests done at once for my heart issues.

Answer

Cardiology consultations are done to further evaluate symptoms that are concerning for heart disease. It sounds like you must be having some of these symptoms. I think what you by calcium screening is coronary artery calcium scoring. This is a very specialized test which is not done routinely at most institutions for cardiology consultations. Let me explain. For most individuals without symptoms, yearly checkups and screens for high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, and high blood pressure are sufficient to gauge whether or not someone will develop heart disease. For patient's with symptoms of coronary artery heart disease (such as chest pain), then a stress test is necessary. If the stress test shows a problem, then they need a coronary artery catheterization to find out where the blockages are, and so that they can be fixed with stents or bypass surgery. Coronary artery calcium screens are typically only done in people that have no symptoms, are at high risk for coronary are artery disease, but have a normal(ish) cholesterol level. It can help decide whether someone needs placed on lifelong cholesterol lowering medication. This scenario is unusual, and thus calcium screening is not routinely done. I suggest that you schedule that appointment with your cardiologist for your consultation. If you are having symptoms, then you most likely need a stress test to see if there are any blockages that may need fixed. Good luck.

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