Calcium is usually contained in the fatty deposits, or plaques, that build up in arteries, making it an important predictor of coronary artery disease. Computed tomography is used to measure calcium in and around arteries.
Two CT scans are particularly effective:
Electron beam computed tomography (EBCT) is an ultra-fast CT scan that takes high-resolution, three-dimensional pictures of the heart as it is beating. Electron beams scan your heart as you lie on a special scanning table and progress through a doughnut-shaped scanner.
CT coronary angiography (CTA) involves an injection of a contrast dye into your arm to enhance the quality of the CT images. Coronary CTA helps measure the narrowing of coronary arteries and diagnose coronary blockages.