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Cardiac Calcium Scoring

Heart disease is the leading cause of death of Americans, for both men and women.

A cardiac calcium score can help you know your future risk of coronary disease, and possibly risk of heart attack. Knowing your cardiac calcium score could save your life. 

A cardiac calcium score is a fast, painless and non-invasive CT scan. It is used to obtain information about the presence, location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries and, therefore, a person’s risk of heart attack. 

At Sanford Health in Bismarck and Dickinson, ND, the Aquilion ONE, the region’s most advanced CT scanner, is used to perform the cardiac calcium score. It provides incredibly detailed four-dimensional images of the heart and other organs.

Once your scan is completed, the results of the scan will be read by a radiologist and reported to your doctor.

What does my cardiac calcium score mean? 
A negative cardiac CT scan indicates a very low risk of heart attack in the next two to five years.

A positive test means coronary artery disease is present. The amount of calcification is then expressed as a score and indicates the likelihood of a heart attack: 

Calcium score Presence of CAD
  • 0 No evidence of CAD
  • 1-10 Minimal evidence of CAD
  • 11-100 Mild evidence of CAD
  • 101-400 Moderate evidence of CAD
  • Over 400 Extensive evidence of CAD
What if coronary artery disease (CAD) is found? 
With today’s advances in medicine, there are non-surgical options that can often be used to treat coronary disease. This includes something as simple as a change in your diet or using various medications to treat the disease. 

Know Your Risk of having coronary artery disease
Some people have a greater likelihood of having CAD based on these risk factors: Family history of heart disease 

  • Family history of heart disease 
  • Smoking 
  • Obesity 
  • High cholesterol 
  • Sedentary lifestyle 
  • Diabetes 
  • High blood pressure 
Additionally, men are generally at greater risk of CAD, but the risk increases for women after menopause.

Schedule a Calcium Score Test

Most insurance companies do not cover the cost of a calcium score. However, if you participate in a health savings account or flexible spending account, you may be able to obtain reimbursement for the cost of your screening.

The cost is $100, which is due at the time of your screening. Even though this is an out-of-pocket expense, it is still considered a cost-effective, self-pay procedure for identifying a person’s heart attack risk. 

To receive this screening, a referral is needed. Contact your primary care provider to request a cardiac calcium score.

Sanford Radiology

Sanford Clinic—basement
222 N. Seventh St.
Bismarck, ND 58501

Scheduling: (701) 323-5210
Toll-free: (800) 932-8758

Sanford Health West Dickinson Clinic

2615 Fairway St.
Dickinson, ND 58601

Scheduling: (701) 456-6160
Toll-free: (800) 695-7245

CT Scanner

Sanford Health offers the region’s most advanced CT scanner in Bismarck and Dickinson, ND.