JOPLIN, Mo. — You may be familiar with a stress test for a patient with heart issues.
But a cat scan may also be a good idea.
Dr. Robert Stauffer, Cardiologist, said, “The use of cat scans is important because we can analyze very simply with very little radiation that mount of calcium that’s in the coronary arteries, which indirectly tells us how much plaque. Plaque is formed and becomes calcified and you get a calcium score which tells you how much plaque do I have, what is my risk. That score can be anywhere from zero to 5,000.”
Cardiologist Dr. Robert Stauffer says a cat scan is a good way to get a good look at a patient’s arteries without an invasive procedure.
“The test is very useful in someone who is high risk – you’re diabetic. You have a family history, your father died at age 45, you had multiple family members that died. You have high risk for developing coronary disease. It’s a good non-invasive way a calcium score to find out what is my risk, not just today but for the next 5 – 10 years.”
Having a score of zero is best, meaning your risk of a heart attack is nearly non-existent.
“If your calcium score is above 750 then that risk goes up significantly. Not only do you have coronary disease but your risk of having a heart attack or obstructive coronary disease goes way up.”
The Freeman Medical Focus was sponsored by Freeman Health System.