Health technology reviews

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Calcium scoring

Status: Decision completed

View findings and decision

Topic summary

Concern about safety, cost, and efficacy regarding calcium scoring for cardiac disease. Concerns that technology is rapidly diffusing, has a radiation risk (especially cumulative) and is costly. Cardiac calcium scoring uses a CT to check for the buildup of calcium in plaque on the coronary arteries. This test identifies and quantifies a marker of coronary disease (plaque), believed to detect earlier stage of CAD. Significant questions involve whether early intervention provides better health outcomes or would lead to additional but unnecessary interventions, especially invasive interventions that involve risk of harm: e.g. before disease becomes clinically apparent, is intervention through a combination of non-invasive (lifestyle and medication) or invasive (angiography, stent, CABG) approaches appropriate.

Primary criteria ranking

  • Safety = Med
  • Efficacy = High
  • Cost = High

​Assessment timeline

  • Draft Report Published: August 10, 2009
  • Public Comment Period: August 10 - August 24, 2009
  • Final Report Published: September 4, 2009
  • HTCC Public Meeting: November 20, 2009