CT Angiogram better than Blood Tests to find Heart Disease

Many of my patients know of my passion for finding and preventing disease at a very early stage.  For this reason many of my patients have spent the money, (approximately $1000) to get a CT Angiogram of their heart.  In the last two years since I’ve been ordering this test, I have saved approximately 11 of my patient’s lives.  By this, I mean that we found more plaque on their heart than we had ever expected.  Procedures, either angioplasty, or in two cases coronary artery bypass surgery fixed the patient’s problem.

Similarly, I have treated  patients with high cholesterol who were on statin drugs, who had absolutely no plaque on their angiogram!  We were able to take these people are statin drugs.  In this day, when the pharmaceutical companies who make statin drugs are implying that everybody should start on statin drugs from age 20 on, this has been a major accomplishment.

I am delighted to tell my patients and friends about a new article that appeared in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.  The title of this article is “Traditional risk assessment tools do not accurately predict coronary heart disease”.  In this study over 700 patients were taking Statin drugs because of the increased risk of developing coronary artery disease from the traditional Framingham and  NCEP risk assessment tools that doctors use.


The shocking results were that 21% of the  patients whose doctors thought they needed statin drugs before the scan (because of their “risk factors”) did not need them.  In addition 26% of the patients who were already taking statin drugs had no detectable plaque.

The author of the study Kevin Johnson M.D., concluded “Ultimately the Framinghaminfluences what every physician does, but I feel it is not good enough to show what is happening with each individual patient”.  He went on to say “I hope this study gets people interested in finding out better predictors for coronary heart disease”. The CT Angiogram is obviously a better way.

This study and Dr. Johnson’s comments reflect what I have been telling my patience for several years.  Looking at traditional risk factors is a good start but this study clearly showed that there is not necessarily a direct correlation of those risk factors with actual plaque formation in the heart arteries.

I refer you to the article which  appeared earlier in my newsletter (and is on my blog) on the CT Angiogram.  If you are interested in having it done please speak with me at our next appointment.

* Original Reference

About Dr. Soram Khalsa

As an MD, Dr Soram specializes in Integrative Medicine combining diet, nutrition, acupuncture, herbs and nutrition. Visit Dr Soram’s Healthy Living Store where you’ll find high-quality nutritional supplements:

  • Judith Barth-Edwards

    what is difference between calcium score on calcium heart test and calcium score on ct angiogram

  • Judith

    what is difference between calcium score on calcium heart test and calcium score on ct angiogram

  • Judith Barth-Edwards

    what is difference between calcium score on calcium heart test and calcium score on ct angiogram

  • Brian


    You have probably already initiated appointing a first class PR agency to help with your campaign but I wanted to toss it in to make certain you don’t overlook this imporant aspect of any marketing campaign.

    You need to find an agency that can get global coverage with the news media, TV personalities, etc. Besides word of mouth, this type of editorial coverage of your story is the most powerful advertising possibile because it doesn’t appear to be advertising and therefore is given much higher credibility.


  • Bob Eisele

    Hi, Dr. Khalsa. I’ll be making an appointment soon. I found this at the link below and it raised a little concern about taking the test, but I imagine the CT angiograms you’re prescribing are safer. Could you address this in your next blog? Thanks, Bob Eisele

    “These estimates, derived from simulation models, suggest that CT coronary angiography is associated with a noteworthy increase in the lifetime risk of cancer, the authors conclude. Carefully selecting patients for CT and optimizing the treatment plans of patients referred for testing can help minimize these risks.”

    SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association, July 18, 2007.

  • arne

    Is the CT Angiogram the same as the CT cardio 64 scan? I have had two of the CT Cardio scans 5 years apart and I am friends with Katherine Sobieck a patient of Dr. Kalsa…thanks for your attention to my question…arne

  • A CT angio is 64 slices but you can also have a simple calcium scan -called EBCT- which is also 64 slice… The CTA is with dye so you can know which one you are getting… No dye means you just had an EBCT

  • Bob thanks for the reference. The article was based on the orginal CTA and now the radiation for the test in 2009 is 90% reduced. It is MUCH less than a CT of the chest for example.
    Best to you

    Dr Soram

  • Judith
    The calcium score of both tests will be the same. The advantage of the CT Angiogram is that it can ALSO see and measure the “soft” plaque inside the arteries. The calcium score tells the amount of CALCIFIED plague.

    Dr Soram