With coronary artery disease (CAD) being the leading killer of men and women in the U.S., screening for heart attack risk with CT coronary artery calcium scoring (CT CACS) makes sense as a tool for evaluating patients in the intermediate risk factor category.*
In two recent large-population-based studies**, CT CACS demonstrated a high reclassification rate, elevating about a quarter of asymptomatic men and women in the intermediate risk cohort to the high risk category. This is invaluable information for patients and physicians when making decisions about lifestyle, medication and interventional procedures. Also, the studies indicated that a significant number of people were reclassified to the low-risk category.
Now, ARA is offering this vital exam at a new low price of $75, which is even below the average cost patients with insurance are paying. Plus, with our new low-dose CT scanners, radiation dose is considerably smaller than with earlier CT scanners.
All this considered, we encourage physicians and patients to discuss whether CT CACS should be part of a screening regimen.
* The American College of Radiology ACR Appropriateness Criteria rates CT CACS at level 8 out of 9, or “usually appropriate,” for asymptomatic patients at intermediate risk for coronary artery disease.
** Polonsky TS, McClelland RL, Jorgensen NW, et al. Coronary artery calcium score and risk classification for coronary heart disease prediction. JAMA. 2010;303(16):1610-1616.
** Ferket BS, Genders TS, Colkesen EB, et al. Systematic review of guidelines on imaging of asymptomatic coronary artery disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011;57(15):1591-1600.
ARA continues to follow CDC guidelines in requiring employees and patients to wear masks at our imaging centers for the safety of all.