Information for Patients

Cardiovascular Imaging

Procedures: Calcium Scoring (Heart Scan),Cardiac MRI and Coronary CTA
Contact the Department of Radiology at (804) 828-0890.
Calcium Scoring (Heart Scan)

The Department of Radiology offers Heart Scans (Calcium Scoring) for $99.00

A Heart Scan or Calcium Scoring is a screening test that identifies conditions associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
The goal of this test is to detect coronary artery disease at an early stage.  In some cases before symptoms are present.

This screening can be recommended by primary care providers for patients who meet three of the below criteria.

•             Men over age 45
•             Women over age 55
•             Current or former smoker
•             A family history of heart disease
•             High cholesterol
•             High blood pressure
•             Overweight
•             Diabetes

Ask your Primary Care Provider for a referral today!
This preventative screening is currently not covered by Insurance.

How the Calcium Scoring (Heart Scan) is Performed

A Calcium Scoring (Heart Scan) is a simple, painless and non-invasive exam of the heart that uses a high speed computed tomography (CT) scanner. The scanner generates cross-sectional images of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. At VCU Health a Radiologist, who is sub specialty trained in Cardiac Imaging will use the images to identify deposits of calcium in the walls of the coronary arteries. Calcium deposits are linked to the build-up of plaque or atherosclerosis that causes blockages in the coronary arteries.

Using a CT scan vs. an X-ray of the heart, allows the opportunity to detect even the most minor changes early. Using the cross-sectional images created by the CT scanner can allow for earlier detection and in some cases before symptoms are present.

For additional information or to schedule a Calcium Scoring exam, contact the Department of Radiology at (804) 828-0890.

Cardiac MRI and Coronary CTA

Scan of heartSpecialty-trained radiologists at VCU Medical Center offer magnetic resonance (MRA) and computerized tomography angiography (CTA) to evaluate the blood vessels and the heart and provide an accurate snapshot of the heart and coronary anatomy. This technology can also evaluate blood vessels throughout the body. Using state-of-the-art technology, we offer patients these noninvasive options to examine the heart and blood vessels from head to toe. MRA and CTA are entirely noninvasive unlike conventional angiography or cardiac catheterization, which require puncture of an artery and insertion of a catheter.

In approximately 30 minutes, MRA and CTA provide radiologists with a complete, 360-degree image of the heart and vessels without having to move the patient, meaning a degree of precision in diagnosing vascular obstructions that is simply not possible with conventional angiography. Once vascular obstructions are identified, treatment planning can begin.

To schedule an appointment with the Department of Radiology please call (804) 828-0890, or fax a referral to (804) 628-0792.

For more information about the procedure, consult the patient preprocedure brochures for the Adenosine MRI stress test, Cardiac MRI test and Coronary CTA test [PDF].

Common Uses

Cardiac MRI, MRA and CTA are routinely used to examine and assess the following:

  • Vessels of the head and neck
  • The heart and pericardium
  • Great vessels
  • Thoracic and abdominal aorta and their branches
  • Vessels of the extremities
  • Renal artery stenosis
  • Renal and liver donors

Benefits of Cardiovascular Imaging

  • Noninvasive.
  • Imaging dye is not toxic to the kidneys.
  • 360-degree viewing of the vessels and heart not possible with catheter procedure.
  • Painless.
  • Approximately half the cost of catheter procedure.
  • No risks/complications provided the patient is screened for contraindications to MRA.
  • No hospital stay required.

For additional information, contact the Department of Radiology at (804) 828-0890.

VCU Department of Radiology Virginia Commonwealth University VCU Medical Center