A quick and painless procedure that helps physicians detect dangerous artery-clogging plaque and the onset of coronary artery disease is available at Emory.
Hundreds of athletes participating in this year's ING Georgia Marathon and the upcoming Peachtree Road Race have already taken advantage of the scans, which detect the amount of plaque present in the arteries. And while it makes sense that some of the most finely-tuned athletes would be eager to assess their health risks prior to a grueling marathon, the simple test can also be a potential lifesaver to just about anyone who is at risk for a deadly heart attack -- from the tri-athlete to the weekend lawn and garden warrior.
"Individuals will have access to Emory's new, state-of-the-art Siemens SOMATOM Definition CT scanner, which can provide one of the most detailed images of the heart available today," says Dr. Arthur Stillman, MD, professor of radiology and the director of cardiothoracic imaging in the Emory University School of Medicine. "This technology allows the detection of coronary artery calcium, an accurate marker of coronary disease."
"A test as simple and as detailed as a CT scan is very helpful to assess risk of future cardiovascular events, not only in athletes, but anyone who is diligent about monitoring his or her overall health," says Dr. Paolo Raggi, MD, professor of medicine in the Emory University School of Medicine. "It would be prudent for those who are 40 years of age or older, have a strong family history of coronary disease or suffer from either diabetes or renal disease, to undergo a simple screening test with CT," Dr. Raggi continued.
The exams, which are $125 and also include a blood pressure screening and optional blood test to help identify other potential heart problems, are available at Emory Clinic Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on an appointment-only basis. Individuals wishing to take part in the scan:
- Should be 40 years of age or older (unless there is a family history of heart disease, diabetes or renal disease)
- Should not have cardiac stents in place
- Should have no history of cardiac bypass surgery
- Should not be pregnant
For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 404/778-7226 or visit the Emory HealthConnection site at www.emoryhealthcare.org.