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Heart Disease Health Center

The New Heart Tests: Which Ones Should You Have?

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Plaque Scan (Carotid Intima-Media Thickness Testing, or CIMT) continued...

Who should get it? "The plaque scan is a very new technology," says Sasse. "I suspect it is many years away from it being used in the clinical arena." Tests like this are typically for patients with medium risk and a strong family history of early-onset heart disease, he says.

Pros: Early detection. The test allows doctors to spot thicknesses in the artery lining much earlier. That might lead your doctor to prescribe a statin medication to help lower blood cholesterol and prevent plaque buildup.

Cons: The test isn't yet available to the public.

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Reviewed on December 26, 2013

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