Patients often ask whether or not they need a coronary artery scan. This is a CT can of the heart to determine the presence of athersclerotic plaques in the coronary arteries and, presumably, whether or not you are at risk for cardiovascular disease. There are other tools to determine your risk, such as your cholesterol levels, sex, age, and blood pressure, and whether or not you have diabetes. So, when might you need to have this test done? I came across this review today that I felt was a good review of the issue. For those patients who are reluctant to commit to taking statins, or wondering if they need to take aspirin daily, the scan can be a very helpful in making this decision.
At Dr. Smith Direct Care, the patient and I usually make these decisions without the necessity of this additional information, but it is sometimes helpful and it is a conversation we should have, if needed.