Cardiac PET Stress Tests in California – CAC Risk Evaluation

In a study presented at the American College of Cardiology conference back in 2018, it was reported that using PET/CT to measure levels of calcium in the coronary arteries during stress tests could allow for physicians to determine, based on the presence of calcium in the coronary arteries, which patients had an increased likelihood of undergoing coronary angiography and revascularization within sixty days after examination. These patients also had a heightened risk of having a major adverse cardiac event within two years.

The researchers went on to find that patients with positive PET/CT coronary artery calcium (CAC) scores had a significantly higher risk of experiencing an adverse cardiac event within the first ninety days, compared with patients whose PET/CT scans displayed no calcification.

Patients with positive CAC scores were also found to be more likely to experience the following:

  • Obstructive Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
  • Undergo an invasive revascularization procedure within four years

The differences in ninety day and four year outcomes between those with positive CAC scores and those without still remained significant regardless of each patient’s degree of ischemic burden (the extent to which coronary blood flow was restricted).

Acquiring calcium scores from PET/CT scans can help differentiate between patients to determine those who are most at risk for future cardiac events, during and prior to cardiac symptoms, allowing for early intervention.

PET Scan Cardiology in Sacramento, San Diego, and Surrounding Areas in California

At Cardiac Imaging, Inc., we provide 3D PET scans in San Francisco, across California, and the greater United States. Our experience and versatile treatment options allow physicians to bring state of the art nuclear technology to their private practices and patients. In doing this, we assist in bringing the beneficial advancements of PET/CT to traditional cardiac medicine.