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HEART CT

A QUICK SCAN CAN HELP PREDICT YOUR RISK OF A HEART ATTACK, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

The best way of assessing heart attack risk in someone whose risk profile isn't definitive is a coronary calcium scan rather than C-reactive protein, a Johns Hopkins study led by Michael Blaha concludes.

BLAHA: The coronary calcium scan is a very simple, noncontrasted CT scan. You can have it done in a few seconds, involves radiation, about as much as a mammogram. A competitor test which of course we compared to was the high sensitivity C-reactive protein test. We've shown in this study that coronary calcium is a much better predictor of risk than C-reactive protein. Now C-reactive protein is a simple blood test but that's also it's weakness too because it's a simple snapshot in time where a coronary calcium scan gives a sense of your risk over your lifetime accumulated in your coronary arteries. :32

Blaha says coronary calcium scanning is also inexpensive and is unlikely to be repeated often. At Johns Hopkins, I'm Elizabeth Tracey.

 



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