HeartSaver CT is designed to uncover early-stage heart disease, sometimes before there are symptoms. The screening is non-invasive, no needles, no dyes and no injections. There’s no exercise or fasting, either. You don’t even need to change your clothes.
Nothing Beats a Healthy Heart
Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in this country. In its earliest and most treatable stages, heart disease rarely reveals itself through symptoms. For many people, a heart attack is the first clue of a heart problem.
Don’t wait for chest pain and other symptoms to warn you of trouble. Take action now to protect your heart.
What Is a HeartSaver CT?
A HeartSaver CT is a screening for heart disease that uses a special X-ray called computed tomography (CT) to look for hardened plaque in coronary arteries (the vessels that take oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle). Plaque is a sticky substance that builds up on the inside of arteries and over time, calcifies or hardens. Calcified plaque may slow down or even stop the flow of blood to the heart muscle.
HeartSaver CT takes a series of pictures to measure how much calcified plaque is in the heart (coronary) arteries. A board-certified radiologist assesses the results and gives patients a calcium score. A score above zero may indicate hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis. A high calcium score has been associated with a higher chance of a future heart attack.
If a patient’s HeartSaver CT score is more than zero, he or she may be able to slow plaque build-up with diet, exercise, medication and, if necessary, a special procedure to open severely blocked arteries.
What Happens During a HeartSaver CT?
The patient lies down on a padded CT table. A licensed CT technologist attaches electrodes to synchronize the scanner with the rhythm of the patient’s heartbeat. The CT table moves slowly through the open scanner. During the first few seconds, the scanner is taking pictures, and the CT technologist asks the patient to hold his or her breath. From start to finish, this screening takes about seven minutes.
Who Should Get a HeartSaver CT?
Men over age 40 or women over age 45 who have one or more of the following risk factors:
Note: Exposure to radiation from CT exams must be balanced against the risk of heart disease. For those under the care of a physician for a heart-related illness or have a history of heart disease, this screening may not be appropriate.
What Is HeartSaver LabWork?
Different substances found in blood are clues to what is happening inside one’s body. HeartSaver LabWork is a group of blood tests that assesses major risk factors for heart disease, including levels of cholesterol (LDL and HDL), triglycerides, C-reactive protein, and fasting blood glucose. One may choose to have these tests separately without a HeartSaver CT. HeartSaver LabWork, together with a HeartSaver CT, provides a more complete picture of heart health status.
Know Your Numbers
Cholesterol is a waxy, soft, fat-like substance that is an important part of every cell in our body. The liver produces cholesterol, but we also obtain it from foods with saturated fat, such as red meat and dairy products. Cholesterol that is not used or expelled from the body contributes to the build-up of plaque in the arteries. This process, called hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis, begins in childhood, and continues throughout life. High cholesterol levels are major risk factors for heart attack and/or stroke.
If you are 20 years or older, it is recommended that every five years you have a group of blood tests, collectively called a fasting lipoprotein profile. Information about total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglycerides are measured in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) and are classified by levels. Learn More.
How to Make an Appointment
Call (937) 734-8200 to schedule an appointment for a HeartSaver CT, HeartSaver LabWork, or both. After answering questions about your heart disease risk factors, your information is reviewed by a cardiologist. If appropriate, your screening(s) will be authorized and all necessary paperwork sent to the location of your choice:
Fees and Costs
- HeartSaver CT - $99.00
- HeartSaver LabWork - $45.00
- Both tests - $144.00
Note: Medicare and most insurance companies do not cover these tests.
Content Updated: December 4, 2014