Coronary artery calcification found on CT predicts death

December 14, 2010
Diagnostic Imaging, Diagnostic Imaging Vol 32 No 11, Volume 32, Issue 11

Visual assessment of coronary artery calcification on low-dose CT scans provides a significant indicator of cardiovascular death, a study found.

Visual assessment of coronary artery calcification on low-dose CT scans provides a significant indicator of cardiovascular death, a study found.

Coronary artery calcification was assessed on ungated low-dose CT scans of the chest in a cohort of 8782 smokers aged 40 to 85. Each participant received a coronary artery calcification score of 0 to 12. The date and cause of death were obtained through the National Death Index.

The rate of cardiovascular deaths increased with an increasing coronary artery score. For patients with a score of zero, the rate was 1.2%. For patients with a score of one to three, the rate was 1.8%; for patients with a score of seven to 12, the rate was 5.3%. A score of at least four was a significant predictor of cardiovascular death, the researchers said. Follow-up ranged from 0.3 months to 91.9 months with a median of 72.3 months (Radiol 2010;257:541-548).

Even after adjusting for sex, age, and pack-years of smoking, the coronary artery calcification score remained significant.Even after adjusting for sex, age, and pack-years of smoking, the coronary artery calcification score remained significant.