Coronary artery screening (CAS) uses electron beam tomography to capture images of vessels without injection of contrast.
CAS can detect and quantify minute amounts of calcified plaque in the major coronary arteries. Electron beam tomography is a technology specifically developed to work fast enough to capture images of the beating heart.
CAS is the most sensitive, non-invasive screening available to detect the presence and extent of early atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.
These scans have a negative predictive value greater than 95%; the sensitivity is also about 95%.
In other words, if there is no calcium detected by the scan, then there is a 95% chance of no significant blockage. The machine produces a very low dose of radiation. Most procedures are equivalent in dose to a two-view chest X-ray or an abdomen series.
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