Mixed test results re carotid artery and heart arteries
A year ago I had a cardiac calcium scan done at a very noteworthy Los Angeles hospital test site. My EBCT scan calcium score showed "zero," a great result, and the doctor said "you are one of our stars."
Yesterday I took a free ultrasound of the carotid arteries offered to people over 55 (I'm 56) at a local hospital by a couple of reps from the local Stroke Association. The "test" took about 3 minutes and I was sitting up. I had been under the impression people would be lying down for this and that the test would take longer, but that was not the case this time.
Anyhow, to my surprise, the tech said I have plaque build-up in left carotid artery(s) but none on the right side. She said this is more often seen in smokers and former smokers. I quit smoking 12 years ago after a 15 year habit of approx. a pack a day.
The tech didn't tell me the extent of the damage and gave no other details and pretty much just scared the heck out of me, but ended up saying the plaque was "within normal range" whatever that means.
Now I'm sorry I went for this informal testing yesterday. It seems bizarre to me that I could have significant build-up in carotid artery(s) and zero in heart arteries, i.e., low risk for heart attack but higher risk for stroke. It doesn't make sense to me and seems contradictory.
Has anyone else had conflicting test results like this? All comments are welcome!