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  #241   ^
Old Mon, Sep-27-21, 10:31
khrussva's Avatar
khrussva khrussva is offline
Posts: 8,372
 
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/228/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 92%
Location: Central Virginia - USA
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I was hoping to get my next follow-up CAC done last week. But due to Covid craziness the hospital cut way back on the available time slots for doing that scan. As a result I could not get an appointment until mid November. However, they did say that I could call in from time to time to check for cancellations. I made that call today and guess what? They can get me in this afternoon at 4:15! Hurray! The wait is over. I'll post my results later tonight.

My last score was 158. I want to see a lower number. But if it is less than 221 then I'll still be in the preferred window of less than 15% annual progression. Fingers crossed that my diet and lifestyle are still having the desired effect on my CVD.

I've been a member of a private FB group called Coronary Artery Calcification for a year or two. It has quite a few doctors and notable "experts" as members and the site maintains a spreadsheet where members can report their scores anomalously. From this data I see that a regression in CAC score is quite rare. Only 2 others have reported a decrease in CAC and one of those was still within the margin of error for CAC scans. Mine is the only reported significant drop. Most who have reported a baseline & follow-up scan report significant progression (well above 15%). Most members of this group are on a statin - unlike me. One other major difference is that I've been living my LC lifestyle for 8 years and had been doing this 3 years before I even had my baseline done. I'm wondering if these last 2 points could be the difference? I'm also still wondering if my drop in score was a fluke or an error? I'll find out in a few hours.

Last edited by khrussva : Mon, Sep-27-21 at 15:50.
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  #242   ^
Old Mon, Sep-27-21, 11:45
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
Posts: 3,732
 
Plan: Very LC, Higher Protein
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
BF:
Progress: 98%
Location: Herndon, VA
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Ken - appreciate the update. We're still learning in this area, and having data is essential. Will be very interested in your results and thanks for sharing to enable our better understanding. There are some (as discussed in the past) who claim that CAC scores can be reduced, but they certainly are a minority.
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  #243   ^
Old Mon, Sep-27-21, 15:49
khrussva's Avatar
khrussva khrussva is offline
Posts: 8,372
 
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/228/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 92%
Location: Central Virginia - USA
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I was expecting to be posting some good news after this 2nd follow-up CAC scan. Unfortunately, my new score leaves me with more questions than answers. I was initially highly suspect of my 54% drop between the first two scans, but since that 2019 follow-up I'd convinced myself that the results were accurate and I had achieved something rarely seen.

My scores:

347 - January 2017
158 - May 2019
273 - September 2021

So either one of those first two CAC scans was wildly inaccurate or I've really messed up something with my lifestyle the past 2 years. If the 2017 score was accurate, then I've still had a reduction. If the 2019 scan was right then I've had more than a 15% progression over the past 28 months. This isn't what I was hoping for. Looks like I'll need another 2 years to sort this out. I'd thought that 3 data points would be enough. I am pleased that all 3 scores are under the 400 cut-off for "Extensive Plaque Burden". My scores are all in the moderate rate.

Of note: I went the the same hospital clinic and had the same technician for the 3rd time in a row. But they changed machines again between 2019 and now. Both of my first two scans were done on 64 slice machines, but they had "upgraded" the machine to a different manufacturer before my 2019 scan. The machine they have now is a 256 slice Phillips. It should provide much better detail. As I did last time, I've requested that they give me the image data on CD.
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  #244   ^
Old Mon, Sep-27-21, 16:04
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
Posts: 3,732
 
Plan: Very LC, Higher Protein
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
BF:
Progress: 98%
Location: Herndon, VA
Default

Several variables at play here in your latest results. Different machine (appears upgraded) from the first two tests. Significantly different results from your second test, but lower than your first. If you consider the first test your baseline, throw out the differences in machines, throw out the second test as an outlier, you are moving in the right direction. Frustrating not being able to get a confirmation on this, but I'd take the lower, most recent score as a positive indicator regardless. I strongly believe you are moving in the right direction by following a healthy lifestyle combining diet and activity. Two of the considerations as my primary barometers in this lifestyle experiment is to remind myself how I feel and what my general health is like after living this way for a number of years. These things are significant.
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  #245   ^
Old Tue, Sep-28-21, 08:51
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is offline
Posts: 11,941
 
Plan: P:E/DDF
Stats: 225/150/169 Female 5' 9"
BF:45%/27%/25%
Progress: 134%
Location: NC
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Hi Ken, much appreciate sharing your CAC score. Like Rob wrote, several variables going on here…and the more sensitive machine being a big one. You have eight years of eating well and keeping up a rigorous exercise schedule, feeling great, that is worth more than those numbers. It will be Interesting if your private CAC group has any insight to this…other than a random walk through 256 slices.
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  #246   ^
Old Wed, Sep-29-21, 07:51
khrussva's Avatar
khrussva khrussva is offline
Posts: 8,372
 
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/228/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 92%
Location: Central Virginia - USA
Default

It wasn't the score that I was hoping to see - but I was mentally prepared for it. I'm not in a state of shock about it. It is what it is. The big picture view is that I've had 3 scores over the past 4 1/2 years in the "Moderate" range of 100-400. That's not good. But as Rob said - how I feel and my quality of life living the LCHF lifestyle is the tangible measure. I've run 5 10Ks in the past 5 years. I have no apparent blockages and no symptoms of CVD other than those CAC scores. My lifestyle, diet and supplementation pattern has been consistent throughout the period between these scans and the erratic scores I've received lead me more to questioning the accuracy of these machines more than it does my lifestyle. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing.

It is only speculation on their part, but the explanation that I got was that the 158 score must have missed some of the calcium. If that is the case, my score still did go down over the pat 4.5 years - assuming that the baseline score was accurate. I have to call into question why they keep replacing machines every 2 years. Their current 256 slice scanner should be a good one. Hopefully it will still be around when I have my next follow up. I expect that I'll have another done around January 2024 if I live that long. I think I will.
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