WHAT IS CALCIUM SCORE/CALCIUM HEART SCORE/ CORONARY CALCIUM SCORE?
Calcium score measures the amount of plaque deposit into the lumen of the cardiac vascular walls. Whereas, the total density and area of calcium deposit in the myocardium is termed calcium score. The calcium score is also known as calcium heart score; or coronary calcium score. Moreover, it is a reliable method for screening of coronary artery disease. Hypercholesterolemia leads to increase calcium heart score; because the lipids and cholesterol that deposit in the heart vessels become calcified. Then, increases the risk of chronic heart disease (CHD), specifically directed towards coronary artery disease. (1)
Hence, this is the score between 0-1000, and the process of calcification increases 10-20% each year. (2)
WHAT ARE GOOD/NORMAL AND BAD CALCIUM SCORES?
A score of zero calcium is also a good calcium score, representing no calcium plaque deposition detected in the heart; and so ultimately lower cardiac disease risk.
A bad calcium score represents a coronary calcium score of greater than 100. 100 to 300 limit shows moderate to severe atherosclerotic plaque deposition in the arterial lumen and moderately severe risk of developing cardiomyopathy, and greater than 300 calcium score will render you at the very severe risk of coronary artery disease or cardiac arrest. (3) (4)
DO I NEED A CALCIUM SCAN/ CALCIUM SCORE TEST/ HEART SCAN?
Firstly, a calcium scan will provide valuable information regarding your risk of developing a cardiac disease. Whereas, a calcium scan is not needed for everyone, but for those who have already been diagnosed with a cardiac pathology; or experiencing defined symptoms of any cardiomyopathy. Above all, the test is most useful for women of 60-70 and men of 50-60 years. (5)
IS THERE ANY ALTERNATIVE TO CALCIUM SCORE TEST?
Your healthcare practitioner will prescribe the test which is best for you, but Lipid profile, Stress test, and risk stratification are the most feasible alternatives of calcium scan/calcium score test. (6)
DOES HIGH CALCIUM SCORE CAUSE PATHOLOGY?
Hypercalcemia itself can do nothing to elevate calcium score. But an injury to a vascular wall due to LDL cholesterol deposition followed by an inflammatory cascade and calcinosis of the plaque as a natural response to the inflammatory process represents a high calcium score. It can also subsequent cardiomyopathy or myocardial infarction. (7)
IS HIGH CALCIUM SCORE A TRIGGER FOR CARDIOMYOPATHY/ CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE/ ATHEROSCLEROSIS?
The higher the calcium score, similarly higher will be the risk of cardiovascular disorder. A score of greater than 100 will put you at an emerging risk of coronary artery disease, and a score of greater than 300 to 400 indicates severe risk of coronary artery disease. (8)
CAN I HAVE CARDIAC ARREST WITH LOW TO ZERO CALCIUM SCORE?
Initially, you may have a high calcium score with no symptoms of coronary blockage or stenosis. You may get a cardiac arrest with a zero calcium score in the same way as other etiologies that may impose you towards cardiac arrest or other cardiomyopathies. (9)
IS HIGH CALCIUM SCORE A TRIGGER FOR EXTRA CARDIAC SYMPTOMS?
The relevance of calcium scoring to Lipids and so other cardiovascular risk factors is known; but calcium score as on the one hand will elicit cardiac symptoms. On the other hand, trigger extra extracardiac symptoms, including
- Pulmonary and systemic hypertension
- Pulmonary infarct
- Stroke (9)
IS A HIGH CALCIUM SCORE A DEATH SENTENCE?
As we know, calcium score is a significant predictor of atherosclerosis. Whereas, the consequences may lead you towards coronary artery disease, myocardial infarct, or cardiac arrest; which may be fatal. The recurrent infarcts will undoubtedly result in a death sentence. (10)
HOW CAN WE LOWER HIGH CORONARY CALCIUM SCORE?
- PRIMARY PREVENTION
Your healthcare practitioner will prescribe you ASPIRIN and also HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors to prevent the risk of cardiomyopathy. (11)
- TIPS TO REDUCE YOUR CALCIUM SCORE
In most cases, home remedies are fruitful in preventing or reducing your coronary calcium score. Moreover, this may be good news for you as these remedies may be substantial for you to get rid of your statins and the drastic risk of cardiomyopathy.
- Garlic (12)
A calcium score, the predictor of your overall health, represents not only your pathological cardiac signs; but also determines systemic clinical presentation. Further, a high calcium score may culminate in a death sentence for you. However, you do not need to go through a calcium scan if you are already a diagnosed cardiac patient. Therefore, stuck with your prescribed statins, reliable home remedies, a healthy diet, and a prescribed exercise plan. Thus, this process will assure you a long healthy life.
RESEARCH ARTICLES AND RELATED LINKS
- Very high coronary artery calcium score with normal myocardial perfusion
- High calcium score: What is next?
- Value of Coronary Calcium Score.
- What Is the Normal Range for a Calcium Heart Score?
- Coronary artery calcium score: current status. Radiologia Brasileira.
- Do I Need a Coronary Calcium Score?
- Coronary Calcium Score – No Doctor’s Order?