What is the 64-Slice Coronary Calcium Scoring at Paris Cardiology Center?

by Ayesha Shafiq, Director of Paris Cardiology Center

CT scanning combines special x-ray equipment with sophisticated computers to produce multiple images inside the body.

A 64 – Slice Cardiac CT Scan for coronary calcium is a non-invasive way of obtaining information about the presence, location and extent of calcified plaque in the coronary arteries-the vessels that supply oxygen-containing blood to the heart muscle. Calcified plaque happens when there is a built up of fat and other substances under the inner layer of the artery. This material can calcify which signals the presence of atherosclerosis, a disease of the vessel wall, also called coronary artery disease (CAD).People with this disease have an increased risk for heart attacks. In addition, over time, progression of plaque build up (CAD) can narrow the arteries or even close off blood flow to the heart. The result maybe chest pain, sometimes called "angina" or heart attack.

Because Calcium is a marker of (CAD), the amount of calcium detected on a Cardiac CT scan is a helpful prognostic tool. The findings on a cardiac CT are expressed as a calcium score. Another name for this test is coronary artery calcium scoring.

What are the advantages of having a Calcium Score Procedure Done at Paris Cardiology Center?

It is a screening study that may be recommended by your primary care physician or Khalid Shafiq M.D. for patients with risk factors for CAD but no clinical symptoms.

The major risk factors for CAD are:

  • High Blood Cholesterol levels.
  • Family history of heart attacks.
  • Diabetes.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Cigarette smoking.
  • Overweight or obese.
  • Physical inactivity.

The following persons should receive a coronary calcium score to better identify CAD and prevent acute coronary events.

  • Asymptomatic males without known CAD aged 45-75.
  • Asymptomatic females without known CAD aged 55-75.
  • Asymptomatic males or females at least 18 years, but less than the required ages, when 2 or more specific cardiovascular risk factors are present.

What does the 64-Slice CT scanner look like at Paris Cardiology Center?

The 64-Slice CT Scanner is typically a large box like machine that has a short tunnel in the center. You will lie on a narrow examination table that slides into and out of this tunnel. Rotating around you, the x-ray tube and electronic x-ray detectors are located opposite each other in a ring, called gantry. The computer workstation that processes the imaging information is located in a separate room, where the technologist operates the scanner and monitors your examination.

Modern CT scanners are so fast that they can scan through large sections of the body in just a few seconds. Such speed is beneficial for all patients especially the elderly and critically ill.

How should you prepare for the Coronary Calcium Scoring?

No special preparation is needed in advance for this test. You should continue to take your usual medication, but should avoid caffeine and smoking for 4 hours prior to the exam. You should wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing to your exam.

Metal objects including jewelry, eyeglasses, dentures, hairpins, hearing aids and removable dental work may be left at home or removed prior to the test as it may affect the CT image.

What will I experience during and after the procedure?

The Coronary Calcium scoring is painless, fast and easy. It takes only 5 minutes to do it. After the CT exam you can return to your normal activities.

Who interprets the results and how do I get them?

Khalid Shafiq M.D. will analyze the images and send a signed report to your primary care physician or the physician who referred you for the exam, who will discuss the results with you or you can schedule an appointment for Coronary Calcium scoring yourself directly by calling Paris Cardiology Center at (903)-739-2700. We are located at 1775 FM 195 Paris Texas, 75462.

What is the Cost for Coronary Calcium Scoring at Paris Cardiology Center?

Khalid Shafiq M.D. focuses on early identification of Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and heart attack prevention via Coronary Calcium Scoring conducted on a 64-slice CT scanner. The Ca+ scoring test is a 5 minute, non-invasive screening test in which pictures of the coronary arteries are taken from outside of the body without use of contrast.

Identifying the presence of coronary calcium (or early stage CAD) is valuable as it accurately depicts CAD development and allows Khalid Shafiq M.D. to tailor treatment approaches to slow or stop progression of this deadly disease.

Normally Insurances do not cover this test. Therefore only a $100 out of pocket is charged to the patient.

The Importance of Coronary Calcium Scoring in saving your life!

A negative cardiac CT scan for calcium scoring shows no calcification within the coronary arteries. This suggests that CAD is absent or so minimal it cannot be seen by this technique. The chance of having a heart attack over the next 2 to 5 years is very low under these circumstances.

A positive test means that CAD is present, regardless of whether or not the patient is experiencing any symptoms. The amount of calcification-expressed as the calcium score may help to predict the likelihood of a myocardial infarction( heart attack) in the coming years and helps your medical doctor or Khalid Shafiq M.D. to decide whether the patient may need to take preventive medicine or undertake other measures such as diet and exercise to lower the risk for heart attack.

The extent of CAD is graded according to your calcium score.

Calcium Score   Presence of CAD
0   No evidence of CAD
1-10   Minimal evidence of CAD
11-100   Mild evidence of CAD
101-400   Moderate evidence of CAD
Over 400   Extensive evidence of CAD


Ayesha Shafiq, Director of Paris Cardiology Center. Wife of Khalid Shafiq M.D. and mother of their 2 children. Director of Paris Cardiology Center for 11 years. Masters in International Relations. Runs management with the help of 22 employees.