Heart Scan: FSA Eligibility
What is a heart scan?
A heart scan, or a coronary calcium scan, is a type of scan done to check for calcium, or plaque buildup in the heart. Plaque buildup in the heart can lead to a variety of medical problems such as chest pain, blood clots or even heart attacks (WebMD).
How is a heart scan done?
Heart scans are done with a Computerized Topography (CT) scan of the heart. The scan takes multiple X-ray images and pieces them together which then allows a medical professional to see the buildup of plaque that has accumulated in the heart.
What are the dangers of plaque buildup in the heart?
If not treated properly, over time, plaque buildup in the heart will eventually harden into calcified plaque. The calcified plaque clogs arteries in your heart which bring oxygenated blood to your body. That can result in some parts of your body not getting enough oxygen.
Plaque buildup can also lead to chest pain called angina. Plaque deposits can also rupture, causing blood clots to form that can lead to heart attack or stroke (WebMD).Heart scans can be extremely helpful in detecting atherosclerosis which is when arteries harden with calcified plaque caused by a buildup of bad cholesterol. Atherosclerosis can lead to cardiovascular disease (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute).