High calcium score: What’s next?

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Q. I recently got a coronary artery calcium scan and the results showed that I have quite a bit of calcium in my heart arteries (my score was 900). Should I have an angiogram to confirm the results? I don't have any heart-related symptoms, but I'm worried about having a heart attack.

A. That is a very high coronary artery calcium score. But the short answer to your question is no. The main reason to have an angiogram is to locate a narrowed heart artery that is causing chest pain or other symptoms. For the test, a cardiologist injects a dye that is visible on x-rays into the blood vessels of your heart, then takes a series of x-ray images. This is done in preparation for angioplasty, in which a narrowed artery is opened, or as a prelude to referral for coronary artery bypass surgery.

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