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Old 10-07-09, 04:15 PM   #1
RonH
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OT: Cardiac Calcium Score

Anyone else here have this test done?

When I have my annual physical my cholesterol is usually 165-180. My primary care doc says no problem. Healthy diet and cycling help keep it down.
My wife has slightly elevated cholesterol (runs in the family) so her primary care doc sent her to a cardiologist. He recommended the Cardiac Calcium Score (CCS) test to see if she had any blockage in her coronary arteries. Since my dad had 3 heart attacks (smoked until he died) and my mother had 1 heart attack (also smoked till the end), my wife suggested that I too have the CCS test. No problem I thought.
Her score came back 0. No blockage at all.
Mine came back 100 in one artery, 300 in two arteries, and 700 in the 4th artery, for a score of 1400. He also said I had the heart of an 85 year old. Hmm. It hasn't affected my riding at all.

The cardiologist was shocked - me - the picture of fitness. He said it wasn't anything I have or haven't done. It is hereditary (thanks dad ) and has been building up for 30+ years.
My primary care doc was even more shocked.

So the cardiologist put me on Simvastatin. Now my cholesterol is 95 and my LDL (the bad cholesterol) is WAY down.
Even though I didn't need any cholesterol drugs, he said the drug will (hopefully) keep more plaque/calcium from collecting in the arteries and maybe even help flush some of the old deposits out.


Anyone else have a similar situation?
How many have had the test done? Don't be afraid or embarrassed to raise your hand.
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Last edited by RonH; 10-08-09 at 06:01 AM.
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Old 10-07-09, 07:47 PM   #2
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No CCS test, but I am on Simvastatin.

Changes in diet did not make a difference in LDL level. Seems I do not produce the enzyme that keeps the LDL down (that is the hereditary thing).
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Old 10-07-09, 08:34 PM   #3
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How is the test performed?
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Old 10-08-09, 06:03 AM   #4
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How is the test performed?
It's a quick 5 minute CT scan. You can read about it here or do a search for cardiac calcium score.
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Old 10-08-09, 06:24 AM   #5
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I forgot to mention the funny part of all of this.
After seeing the scan results the cardiologist ordered a stress test. I had knee surgery 1-1/2 years ago and was told by the ortho doc that my running days are over. So the cardiologist ordered the stress test on a bicycle.
When I had the test the techs attached all the leads (I think there were 12 ) from the computer to my chest. The test had 20 levels of difficulty. I started on 1. After about 45 seconds they increased the resistance to 2 and asked if I was ok. Then about 45 seconds they increased it to 3 and asked if I was ok. Then about a minute later they increased it to 4. This continued until we got to level 15. They were sure I was going to pass out any second. Most out of shape people who have the cycling test usually don't get past level 5 or 6. When they finally stopped the test I was breathing hard but not out of breath. I told them I ride much harder on my 25+ mile rides to Stone Mountain.
The doctor said the stress test results were off the chart (in the good direction).
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Old 10-08-09, 10:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonH View Post
I forgot to mention the funny part of all of this.
After seeing the scan results the cardiologist ordered a stress test. I had knee surgery 1-1/2 years ago and was told by the ortho doc that my running days are over. So the cardiologist ordered the stress test on a bicycle.

The doctor said the stress test results were off the chart (in the good direction).
Had to have my stress test done on a bike aswell (Knee Injury). Could see all the dials and there was this one that I reckoned was the Heart monitor and after a 5 minute warm up I Decided to get it to 135- my normal riding HR. Suddenly there were alarm bells ringing and People running into the test room. Once they realisedf that someone had set the alarm to 130- and I rode regularly- They reset the machine. Got to my age related max of 165 and realised that I did not have long at that rate. Went to 172 till the giddy spell came and stopped. Saw the Surgeon the following week and he told me that two of the test technicians decided to have a stress test done. He had now put them on a fitness programme as they could not get above 150.

And on the Calcium test. Cholesterol can be hereditary. None of my Uncles on my paternal side lived above 50- Heart attacks. When I had my Angina attack- the arteries were really blocked but whilst having the Angiogram-

The Doctor asked me "Is it swimming or cycling?"

Pardon?-

"It has to be one of them- your arteries are blocked but the Aorta is clear- only swimming or Cycling does that?

3 weeks before I Had the attack- I did a 30 mile offroad in training for the big ride of the year. Two weeks beforehand and I did a metric on the road and first time I had done this metric in 4 hours. And just the week beforehand I did a 65 miler offroad and finished quicker than I though so just told my ride partner that we would do one more hill. He groaned but did it. I think I was probably at my fittest for 20 years or so but it did not stop the cholesterol build up.
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