Cardiovascular Imaging
& Diagnostics

Cardiac imaging provides pictures of your heart and cardiac vessels to see how your heart is performing. The noninvasive diagnostic tests – including X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds – help us diagnose various heart and vascular conditions. At Cardiovascular Medicine, we offer advanced imaging tests so we can successfully treat and manage all types of cardiovascular diseases.

When to See a Cardiovascular Specialist

If you are at risk for heart disease or have symptoms that concern you, our comprehensive testing can help identify any issues. Conditions that we diagnose with cardiac imaging include:


Diagnostic Testing

Our range of cardiac diagnostic tests can provide the information you need to make informed decisions about your healthcare. Deciding which test is right for you will depend on several factors, including your symptoms and individual circumstances. Our diagnostic testing options include:

Cardiovascular Treatments

We offer an array of procedures to treat and manage your cardiovascular condition so you can feel better. Working alongside you, we design a treatment plan that will allow you to feel better and return to doing the things you love. Our treatment options include:

Treatments :

Coronary Calcium Scoring

What is a Coronary Calcium Scoring?

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women. It results from plaque that grows inside the arteries of your heart, which can restrict blood flow to the muscles. People often have no warning signs prior to a cardiac event. 

Coronary calcium scoring can detect a life-threatening build up of plaque before signs and symptoms appear — giving patients the chance to prevent future coronary artery disease. By understanding your risk, you have the opportunity to change your lifestyle before extensive, irreversible damage occurs.

If you are at risk of a heart attack, coronary calcium scoring could save your life. The cardiac imaging scan uses a multi-slice computed tomography (CT) scanner to take pictures of your heart. The quick, painless, noninvasive procedure can help determine the degree and severity of calcium-containing hard plaque within your coronary arteries.

What to Expect

Before the test, you can eat, drink and take most medications as usual, but we ask that you refrain from caffeine and smoking for 4 hours prior.

When you arrive, the technician will attach electrodes to your chest. These sensors record your heart activity, noting when the heart muscles are relaxed between heartbeats to take X-ray pictures. To ensure we get the clearest images, we may give you medication to slow your heartbeat.

For the heart scan, you will lie on your back on a table that can slide into the CT scanner. To get the best pictures, we'll ask you to lie as still as possible and hold your breath for a few seconds at a time. During this, your head will be outside the scanner. Though the technician will be in another room, you'll be able to communicate with them if needed. The procedure takes about 10 to 15 minutes.


As one of the quickest and least invasive cardiac diagnostic tests, coronary calcium scoring doesn’t require specific aftercare. You should be able to drive yourself home and resume normal activity after the test is complete. Once your results are ready, we will send them to your primary doctor.

Risks & Side Effects

This cardiac imaging procedure uses X-ray technology to scan the heart. You will be exposed to a small amount of radiation — about the same amount that you are naturally exposed to in a year. We consider the level of exposure generally safe for most people. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns.

Am I a Candidate?

We recommend calcium scoring for anyone at risk for coronary artery disease. For those whose risk is low, moderate, or unclear, having a heart scan can guide treatment and provide you with motivation to make lifestyle changes. We will assess your individual risk factors to help you decide if a heart scan would be beneficial.

The test is especially useful in men over the age of 45 and females over the age of 55 with risk factors. Screening may be helpful for those over 40 who have a family history of certain risk factors, as well.

More on Coronary Calcium Scoring

About Coronary Calcium Scoring Numbers

Scores can range from zero to 300 and above. A higher coronary calcium score indicates a greater chance of significant narrowing in the coronary arteries, which means you are at a higher risk of a future heart attack. We will use the results of your cardiac imaging to determine what steps you should take to lower your risk of coronary artery disease. Our plan of action can include medication or lifestyle changes, or both.

Do I Need a Referral for a Calcium Scoring Test?

You don’t need a referral for the calcium scoring test, and the cost is only $119. We’ll send the results to your family practice physician.

Common Risk Factors

Common risk factors include:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • Family history of early heart disease

Meet Your Illinois and Iowa
Cardiovascular Physicians

Our team of physicians, researchers, and patient care specialists are focused specifically on cardiovascular best practices and lifesaving heart and vein care. We hire and empower the best cardiovascular doctors in the nation right here in the Heartland.

Patient Success Stories

Our patients live longer, healthier and more unburdened lives, thanks to heart care that counts. Just ask them:

CVM Locations

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Our team of physicians, researchers, and patient care specialists are focused specifically on cardiovascular best practices and lifesaving heart and vein care.

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