Coronary Artery Calcium Score

Have this invaluable chart on hand when analyzing and interpreting coronary artery calcium scores. Click here to download your free template.

By Harriet Murray on Feb 29, 2024.

Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What Is a Coronary Artery Calcium Score Chart?

Also referred to as cardiac calcium scoring, a coronary artery calcium scoring chart involves interpretation of the results derived from a non-invasive CT scan (computed tomography) to create a measure of calcification occurring in the patient's arteries. This scan measures the level of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries of the heart, which are viral transportation vessels for supplying oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. Significant levels of calcified cholesterol and recording these levels in a coronary artery calcium score chart can assist clinicians in determining the likelihood of a future heart attack or stroke and making appropriate treatment plans to combat this. 

The plaque found in coronary arteries is made up of fat and calcium that attaches to the artery walls and solidifies and calcifies over time, hardening the walls and increasing the risk of clogging the arteries. If the arteries clog, blood flow is reduced, and the heart cannot supply adequate oxygen, resulting in cell death. The plaque can also cause blood clots to form, linked to the onset of myocardial infarction. 

This important chart helps to clearly record vital coronary artery calcium score results and can be used to make further treatment plans and educate the patient on needed lifestyle changes to prevent future cardiac events. Usually, the score will present as 0, indicating no calcified plaque, yet the patient's age must be considered as it is common for the older population to have some plaque present. Close monitoring of this is desirable. 

The results are commonly referred to as Agatston scores, and different parameters help define the severity of plaque within the arteries. This is an invaluable testing tool to utilize in detecting heart disease within its earliest stages, offering the patient and healthcare professional the best chance to make a treatment plan and address diet, exercise, and potential medication usage. 

A heart calcium score is a recommended routine check for females over the age of 40 and males over the age of 35 who possess two or more of the high-risk factors such as: 

  • Diabetes 
  • Smoking past or present
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity 
  • Elevated triglycerides
  • A low-movement lifestyle
  • A stressful lifestyle
  • Family history of heart disease

Downloadable Coronary Artery Calcium Score Chart

Check out our free Coronary Artery Calcium Score Chart PDF here

How Does It Work?

Step One: Gather your Resources

Heart calcium score charts are a valuable resource and essential to keep on hand. Make sure that you have one when the need arises by either clicking the “Download Template” or “Use Template” button or by searching “ Heart Calcium Score Chart” on Carepatron’s template library’s search bar on the website or app.

Step Two: Collate Essential Information

Fill out all essential patient information, including any of the high-risk factors mentioned above. After conducting the CT scan, analyze the measures of the calcium scare against the parameters to determine the presence of vascular disease and the need for further intervention. 

The CT scan itself involves the tracking of the patient's heart rate through the placement of EKG electrodes in the chest area, and the scan takes approximately 20-30 seconds to complete. The scanning appointment with a CT technologist and radiologist may take up to 15 minutes.

Step Three:  Store the Template Securely

After reviewing the results and hosting a consultation with your patient and or relevant specialists, you need to secure the heart calcium score chart so that access is only granted to relevant parties. 

Ensure this through Carepatrons HIPAA-compliant free patient records software. Here all relevant medical records can be safely stored and collated for ease and security.

Coronary Artery Calcium Score Chart Example (Sample)

Eager to utilize this essential diagnostic tool? Acquire a free, downloadable, and printable heart calcium score chart PDF that comes pre-filled with fictional data.

Our crafted sample template is designed to aid you in efficiently utilizing the chart and evaluating the artery calcium score parameters. It includes dedicated sections for clinical notes and a screening area for identifying at-risk factors.

Secure your copy by either previewing the sample below or clicking the "Download Example PDF" button.

Download our Coronary Artery Calcium Score Chart PDF

Coronary Artery Calcium Score Chart Example

When would you use this Chart?

Coronary artery calcium score charting is a common and well-utilized tool that helps identify calcium deposits within the heart arteries. The early diagnosis of heart disease is essential for the well-being of your patient, and this chart helps to identify the parameters and make plans for future intervention easily. This is a fantastic charting tool for multiple scenarios:

Coronary Artery Disease

This common heart condition occurs when plaque builds up over time, often going undetected for a long period as symptoms are slow to present themselves. This test is a great indicator of heart health and whether further intervention is needed.

At-Risk Population

The heart calcium score test is an efficient and valuable tool to detect heart disease at the early stages. Therefore, better intervention and prevention can occur. This chart should be used when female patients are over the age of 40 and male patients are over the age of 35 and displaying the following high-risk factors: 

  • Diabetes 
  • Smoking past or present
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity 
  • Elevated triglycerides
  • A low-movement lifestyle
  • A stressful lifestyle
  • Family history of heart disease

Routine Screening

A coronary calcium scan is not typically advisable as a routine screening test for individuals already identified as having a high risk of experiencing heart attacks. Likewise, it is not recommended if you have previously had a heart attack, undergone a heart stent placement, or received coronary bypass surgery. 

This is because other tests or procedures performed in these circumstances already provide insights into the condition of your heart arteries. To determine whether a coronary calcium scan is appropriate for your specific situation, it is advisable to consult with your healthcare team.

What Do The Results Mean?

The results are compared against typical parameters to help measure the severity of the calcified plaque and are represented by an absolute numerical value, as well as a percentile that considers sex, age, and ethnicity. 

Exact parameters vary between institutions, and checking your practice guidelines for scoring is recommended.  Interpretations of coronary artery calcium scores are outlined below:

  • No Calcified Plaque Detected 0: Risk of myocardial infarction and stroke at 10 years, less than 1%. It is important to note that age, sex, and ethnicity may have an impact on the suspected normal range for calcified plaque.
  • Calcium Detected in Extremely Minimal Levels 1 - 100: The risk of myocardial infarction and stroke at 10 years is still low, less than 10%.
  • Moderate Levels of Plaque Detected 101 - 400: Minimal narrowing of heart arteries is likely, and there is a moderate risk between 10 to 20% of myocardial infarction and stroke at 10 years.
  • Moderately High Levels of Plaque Detected 101 -  400 and >75th Percentile: Moderately high risk of myocardial infarction and stroke at 10 years, 15-20%
  • Extensive Levels of Plaque Detected >400: Very high risk of myocardial infarction and stroke at 10 years, >20%

The presence of mild to extensive levels of calcified plaque signals the necessity for implementing a treatment strategy to mitigate the risk of potential serious cardiac events in the future. 

Additional tests may be necessary to precisely determine the diagnosis of the cardiac condition and assess the true extent of damage or potential risk. Treatment typically encompasses modifications to diet and exercise, along with the prescription of specific medications targeting cholesterol levels, particularly reducing low-density lipoproteins. Another option is to prescribe 'good' cholesterol, such as niacin, to enhance high-density lipoproteins.

Why Use Carepatron as Your Coronary Artery Calcium Score App?

Selecting Carepatron as your preferred application for interpreting the results of a coronary artery calcium score chart and conducting research on cardiac conditions offers numerous advantages for healthcare practitioners.

Carepatron provides a centralized workspace, allowing you to manage clinical documents and electronic patient records, set patient appointment reminders, and handle medical billing seamlessly and efficiently within the platform, eliminating the need for additional software downloads. This integrated and comprehensive approach simplifies and streamlines processes and tasks related to coronary artery calcium score charting and various other activities, giving you peace of mind and allowing you to focus most of your time, attention, and effort on patient care.

Carepatron is dedicated to offering a highly efficient and productive platform for thousands of healthcare professionals, allowing you to customize tools and workflows to meet your unique needs. Additionally, it empowers practitioners and patients to manage administrative tasks such as service booking and completing paperwork. The easy sharing of essential documents and data through the app ensures a top-quality customer experience.

We strongly believe in providing radical accessibility, making our app available on any device you have at your disposal. Our portable medical dictation software simplifies clinical note-making and updates, ensuring an effortless process. With great accessibility comes great responsibility, and we prioritize the security of all notes, clinical records, results, and practitioner data by complying with global security requirements, including HIPAA, GDPR, and HITRUST.

Clinical Documentation Software Benefit

References

BARTEL, A. G., CHEN, J. T., PETER, R. H., BEHAR, V. S., KONG, Y., & LESTER, R. G. (1974). The Significance of Coronary Calcification Detected by Fluoroscopy. Circulation, 49(6), 1247–1253. https://doi.org/10.1161/01.cir.49.6.1247

Chua, A., Blankstein, R., & Ko, B. (2020). Coronary artery calcium in primary prevention. Australian Journal of General Practice, 49(8), 464–469. https://doi.org/10.31128/ajgp-03-20-5277

Detrano, R., Guerci, A. D., Carr, J. J., Bild, D. E., Burke, G., Folsom, A. R., Liu, K., Shea, S., Szklo, M., Bluemke, D. A., O’Leary, D. H., Tracy, R., Watson, K., Wong, N. D., & Kronmal, R. A. (2008). Coronary calcium as a predictor of coronary events in four racial or ethnic groups. The New England Journal of Medicine, 358(13), 1336–1345. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa072100

Knez, A., Becker, A., Leber, A., White, C. W., Becker, C., Reiser, M., Steinbeck, G., & Boekstegers, P. (2004). Relation of coronary calcium scores by electron beam tomography to obstructive disease in 2,115 symptomatic patients. American Journal of Cardiology, 93(9), 1150–1152. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2004.01.044

P. Cannon, C. (2023, April 1). Should I get a calcium score? Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/should-i-get-a-calcium-score#:~:text=While%20a%20calcium%20score%20can

Yano, Y., O’Donnell, C. J., Kuller, L., Kavousi, M., Erbel, R., Ning, H., D’Agostino, R., Newman, A. B., Nasir, K., Hofman, A., Lehmann, N., Dhana, K., Blankstein, R., Hoffmann, U., Möhlenkamp, S., Massaro, J. M., Mahabadi, A.-A., Lima, J. A. C., Ikram, M. A., & Jöckel, K.-H. (2017). Association of Coronary Artery Calcium Score vs Age With Cardiovascular Risk in Older Adults. JAMA Cardiology, 2(9), 986–994. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamacardio.2017.2498

Who typically requests a Coronary Artery Calcium Score Chart?
Who typically requests a Coronary Artery Calcium Score Chart?

Commonly asked questions

Who typically requests a Coronary Artery Calcium Score Chart?

Medical professionals will request a coronary artery calcium score for patients who are part of at-risk populations yet present as asymptomatic. This is an invaluable tool for predicting the probability of heart-related events occurring in the future.

‍When are Coronary Artery Calcium Score Charts used?

Coronary artery calcium score charts are typically used to collate the results of a CT scan and predict the probability of future cardiac injury. They are well-utilized for asymptomatic patients who have multiple risk factors, such as a family history of heart disease and high cholesterol.

How are Coronary Artery Calcium Score Charts used?

Medical professionals use a coronary artery calcium score chart to collate the results from a CT scan and make predictions about the risk of future heart attacks or stroke. Collecting these results is painless and non-intrusive and provides fantastic preventive care.

How long does a Coronary Artery Calcium Score Chart take?

The initial scan takes approximately 30 seconds, with the consultation lasting 10 to 15 minutes. The identification and analysis of the scores are expected to take 20 to 30 minutes.

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