How is the coronary calcium scan helping to treat patients?
The coronary artery calcium test is a tool doctors use to help inform treatment for a patient. In this video, Merle Myerson, MD, Director of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention with Bassett Medical Center explains the ways in which the exam is helpful.
My personal feeling is that if somebody doesn't need a medication, you know, why go on it? You know, there's no free ride with medications,
even though we know the statins and other drugs are generally safe. So for my patients, I really want all the information
I can get before I make a decision. And many patients really appreciate that as well. So tests like the coronary artery calcium scanning
can give us another tool to say, wow, you know, I think you have the beginnings of a buildup of plaque
in your arteries. I think it would be very helpful to treat your cholesterol. But on the other hand, there's been
no long term definitive studies looking at very hard endpoints. When we say hard endpoints we mean
heart attacks, coronary artery death, things like that that have, more or less, proved that coronary artery calcium could change that.
So it is a marker. It's not the equivalent of coronary artery disease, but once again, it can be helpful in certain patients,