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Murray-Calloway County Hospital offers new calcium scoring screening

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Murray-Calloway County Hospital is now offering a CT Calcium Scoring screening test in its Radiology Department on the newly installed CT scanner.

Members of the Radiology Team who have completed training and are performing these tests include: Morgan Dunigan, RT (R) (CT), Darryl Filbeck, RT (R), JoAnnah Rogers, RT (R) (CT), and Lori Morris, RN.

A CT Calcium Score exam, also known as a coronary calcium scan, is a quick, convenient and noninvasive way of evaluating the amount of calcified (hard) plaque in heart vessels.

The average candidate for calcium scoring is between the ages of 40-65, and have the following risk factors:

• Smoking

• Family history of heart disease

• Obesity

• High cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes

• Experiencing chest pain and symptoms

After the test is completed, each individual will be given a score and the following list indicates the next level of care needed:

• 400 and above — Signs of heart disease may be present and patient should set an appointment with a cardiologist.

• 1,000 and above — Plaque is probable and an appointment should be made immediately with a cardiologist.

At this time CT Calcium Scoring is not covered by insurance so it will be a cash pay exam for the patient.

The cost will be under $80 (discounted cash price to be paid at the time of visit).

The radiologist will later bill the patient for an estimated $28 for reading.

There is no IV contrast on this exam and there is no prep for the patient. It will be less than a 30 minute exam.

If the CT Calcium Score exam shows an abnormal indication of calcium indicative of possible cardiac disease then an Interventional Cardiologist (IC) will review the test at that time to determine the next course of action.

An IC such as Dr. Homayuni may think the patient would be a candidate for an additional procedure called a CCTA (Cardiac Computer Tomography Angiography).

The CCTA is a new specialized procedure also now offered at MCCH.

This CCTA is a test that uses X-rays to provide detailed pictures of the heart and the blood vessels that go to the heart, lung, brain, kidneys, head, neck, legs and arms.

This test can show narrowed or blocked areas of a blood vessel and is a safer way to determine disease stages without having to do an invasive heart catheterization procedure.

If blockage is determined following the CCTA, then a heart catheterization would be the next course of action to look further at the vessels.

For more information on the CT Calcium Scoring test or the CCTA, contact the marketing department at 270-762-1381.

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