Know the Score

Measure your heart disease risk with this simple screening test

An easy, inexpensive screening test offered at UT Southwestern can help identify your risk for heart disease by measuring the amount of calcium deposits in your coronary arteries — and it takes just minutes.

CT Cardiac Calcium Scoring exams use computerized tomography (CT) imaging to scan the heart’s arteries and look for calcium deposits and blockages. Calcium buildup can lead to atherosclerosis, an inflammatory disease that causes plaque to accumulate in the arteries, blocking the flow of blood. The risk of coronary heart disease and heart attacks increases with higher calcium scores.

“Cardiac calcium scoring won’t prevent heart disease, but it can help show your level of risk, even before you have any obvious symptoms,” says Cecelia Brewington, M.D., Professor of Radiology. “You don’t need a referral to have the exam, but it’s best to check with your physician first to see if it would be appropriate for you.”

CT Cardiac Calcium Scoring: JUST THE FACTS

How it works: You lie on a table for 10 minutes in a CT scanner that takes high-resolution, cross-sectional images of your chest.

  • Preparation required: None
  • Downtime after exam: None
  • Results: Normally available within 48 hours or less. A UT Southwestern radiologist reviews the images and sends results to your physician, you, or both.
  • Cost: $99. (CT Cardiac Calcium Scoring exams are not covered by most insurance carriers.)


To schedule an exam, call 214-645-XRAY (9729).