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Calcium Scoring – A Preventive Cardiac Care Measure Provided to Patients in Williamsport

April 10, 2024

Calcium in the arteries of the heart signals coronary artery disease, and a test available at UPMC Williamsport can help patients determine what their risk might be.

As part of a calcium scoring, experts use computed tomography (CT) imaging technology to photograph the heart and look for calcium in plaque in the walls of coronary arteries. The process is painless and only takes about 30 minutes. There is no use of contrast.

After the scan, patients receive their score. Higher scores often indicate a higher burden of plaque and thus, greater chances of having a heart attack or cardiovascular event.

Desiderio“Calcium scoring allows us to find disease without the use of needles and invasive procedures. It allows us to see the disease that is missed by traditional stress testing” explains Michael Desiderio, DO, a cardiologist at UPMC Williamsport. “Based on what we see, we gain insight to the extent and severity of heart disease and can then offer guidance on next steps, which may include medicine or making lifestyle changes.”

Calcium scoring CT scans are by appointment only and must be ordered by a patient’s doctor. The tests are recommended for patients over the age of 40 who have a medium risk of developing heart disease.