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What Are the Risks of a Coronary Calcium Scan?

Coronary calcium scans have very few risks. The test isn't invasive, which means that no surgery is done and no instruments are inserted into your body.

Unlike some CT scans, coronary calcium scans don't require an injection of contrast dye to make your heart or arteries visible on x-ray images.

Coronary calcium scans involve radiation, although the amount used is considered small. Electron beam computed tomography (EBCT) uses less radiation than multidetector computed tomography (MDCT).

In either case, the amount of radiation is about equal to the amount of radiation you're naturally exposed to in a single year.

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Last Updated: March 30, 2012