Most experts agree that you should visit your doctor for an exam before getting a heart scan. This can provide additional information on your heart attack risk for your doctor to consider. This exam should include:
- A review of your medical history and your family medical history
- A physical exam, including blood pressure measurement
- A risk assessment, including questions about your exercise and smoking habits
- Blood tests, including your cholesterol levels
Your doctor may ask you to avoid caffeine and smoking for four hours before the test. Otherwise, you don't need any special preparations to have a heart scan.
May 01, 2013
- American Heart Association position statement on state efforts to mandate coronary arterial calcification and carotid intima media thickness screenings among asymptomatic adults. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/.../ucm_437479.pdf. Accessed March 12, 2013.
- Greenland P, et al. 2010 ACCF/AHA guideline for assessment of cardiovascular risk in asymptomatic adults. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2010;56:e50.
- Whelton WP, et al. Coronary artery calcium and primary prevention risk assessment: What is the evidence? An updated meta-analysis on patient and physician behavior. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. 2012;5:601.
- What is a coronary calcium scan? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/cscan/cscan_all.html. Accessed March 12, 2013.
- Yeboah J, et al. Comparison of novel risk markers for improvement in cardiovascular risk assessment in intermediate-risk individuals. Journal of the American Medical Association. 2012;308:788.
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- Nasir K, et al. Coronary calcium scanning should be used for primary prevention. JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging. 2012;5:111.
- Blaha MJ, et al. Associations between C-reactive protein, coronary artery calcium, and cardiovascular events: implications for the JUPITER population from MESA, a population-based cohort study. Lancet. 2011;378:684.
- Heart disease fact sheet. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control. http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_heart_disease.htm. Accessed March 12, 2013.
- Gerber TC, et al. Diagnostic and prognostic implications of coronary artery calcification detected by computed tomography. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 9, 2013.
- Reinsch N, et al. Comparison of dual-source and clectron-beam CT for assessment of coronary artery calcium scoring. British Journal of Radiology. 2012;85:e300.