Sequoyah Memorial Hospital, Sallisaw, is offering a reduced rate on calcium scoring screening, a CT scan that can detect calcified plaque in the arteries of the heart.
Each Thursday in February the screenings are offered for $99, a savings of over $100.
Beth Fair, the hospital’s director of radiology, explained a cardiac CT scan for coronary calcium is a non-invasive way of obtaining information about the presence, location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries, the vessels that supply oxygen-containing blood to the heart. Calcified plaque results when there is a buildup of fat and other substances under the inner layer of the artery. This material can calcify which signals the presence of atherosclerosis, a disease of the vessel wall, also called coronary artery disease (CAD).
People with CAD have an increased risk for heart attacks.
In addition, over time, progression of plaque buildup can narrow the arteries or even close off blood flow to the heart. The result may be chest pain, sometimes called angina, or a heart attack.
Because calcium is a marker of CAD, the amount of calcium detected on a cardiac CT scan is a helpful prognostic tool. The findings on cardiac CT are expressed as a calcium score. Another name for this test is coronary artery calcium scoring.
Coronary calcium scans use a special x-ray test called computed tomography (CT) to check for the buildup of calcium.
The x-ray technologist begins by positioning the patient on a CT table, usually lying flat on the back. Pillows and cushions may be used to provide increased comfort. Electrodes are placed on the chest to connect the patient to an ECG machine. The table will move in and out of the machine several times, and patients may have to hold their breath from 10 to 20 seconds while images are recorded.
The procedure is usually complete in 10 to 15 minutes.
Patients are advised to avoid caffeine and smoking for four hours prior to the exam, and to wear comfortable clothing.
Every patient and their family physician will be sent a letter with their results.
The screenings will be offered from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Thursday in February. Call 918-774-1119 for set up an appointment.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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