What is a CT Calcium score?

What is a CT Calcium score?

A CT Calcium Score¹ is a non-invasive medical test that measures the amount of calcium build-up in the coronary arteries. It is used to assess the risk of developing heart disease² and to determine the presence and severity of coronary artery disease (CAD).

How is a CT Calcium Score calculated?

During a CT Calcium Score test, a specialized CT scanner takes multiple images of the heart. These images are then analyzed by a computer program that calculates the amount of calcium present in the coronary arteries. The result is expressed as a score, known as the Agatston score, which represents the total amount of calcium in the arteries.

What does the CT Calcium Score indicate?

The CT Calcium Score provides valuable information about the presence and extent of coronary artery disease. A higher score indicates a greater amount of calcium and a higher risk of developing heart disease. The score is categorized into different risk levels:

  • 0: No evidence of calcium and low risk of heart disease
  • 1-10: Minimal evidence of calcium and low risk of heart disease
  • 11-100: Mild evidence of calcium and intermediate risk of heart disease
  • 101-400: Moderate evidence of calcium and higher risk of heart disease
  • Over 400: Extensive evidence of calcium and significantly higher risk of heart disease

Calcium CT

Who should consider getting a CT Calcium Score?

A CT Calcium Score is recommended for individuals who have risk factors for heart disease but no symptoms. This includes individuals with a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure³, high cholesterol, diabetes, or a smoking history. It is also recommended for individuals who are unsure about starting preventive medications or who want to assess their risk before making lifestyle changes.

What are the benefits and limitations of a CT Calcium Score?

The benefits of a CT Calcium Score include:

  • Early detection of coronary artery disease
  • Assessment of the severity of coronary artery disease
  • Identification of individuals who may benefit from preventive medications.
  • Motivation for lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of heart disease.

However, it is important to note that a CT Calcium Score is not suitable for everyone. It is not recommended for individuals with known heart disease, as other tests may be more appropriate. Additionally, the test involves exposure to radiation, although the amount is minimal.


A CT Calcium Score is a valuable tool for assessing the risk of heart disease and determining the presence and severity of coronary artery disease. It provides important information that can guide preventive measures and treatment decisions. If you have risk factors for heart disease, consider discussing a CT Calcium Score with your healthcare provider to assess your individual risk and take appropriate steps to protect your heart health.

Calcium Score



1. Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring | Heart Foundation

2. What are the different types of heart disease? | Cardiac X

3. The facts about Hypertension | Cardiac X

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