Coronary calcium scanning has very few risks. The test isn't invasive, which means that no surgery is done and no instruments are inserted into your body.
Coronary calcium scanning doesn't require an injection of contrast dye to make your heart or arteries visible on x-ray images.
Because an x-ray machine is used, you'll be exposed to a small amount of radiation. Electron beam computed tomography (EBCT) uses less radiation than multidetector computed tomography (MDCT). In either case, the amount of radiation is less than or equal to the amount of radiation you're naturally exposed to in a single year.
This answer from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has been reviewed and/or edited by Dr. William D. Knopf.