coronary artery calcification

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Related to coronary artery calcification: coronary artery disease

coronary artery calcification

Abbreviation: CAC
Calcium phosphate (hydroxyapatite) in coronary arteries, an indicator of coronary artery atherosclerosis. CAC is found in diseased but not healthy coronary arteries. During ultrafast CT scanning of the heart, tissue densities that exceed 130 Hounsfield units typically contain significant amounts of deposited calcium. The total amount of calcium present in a person's coronary arteries can be measured by assessing the length of calcified artery and the density of the calcium identified. These factors together are used to generate a “calcium score.” A calcium score > 100 is often cited as a measurement indicative of a moderately high risk of future myocardial infarction or ischemia. People with scores > 100 should begin taking daily aspirin and should actively modify atherosclerotic risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes mellitus. A score greater than 400 is often cited as indicating an urgent need for stress testing with radionuclide imaging, e.g., thallium or sestamibi.


Caution is needed to interpret raw calcium scores. The test is not perfectly sensitive: a small number of people without coronary artery calcium deposits still may have plaque rupture and myocardial infarction. Also, the score is just one of several markers of atherosclerosis, all of which should be factored into a risk assessment for coronary artery disease.
See also: calcification
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
The role of inflammation in coronary artery calcification. Ageing Res Rev 2007;6:263-70.
Lu et al., "Metabolic syndrome and coronary artery calcification: A Community-based Natural Population Study," Chinese Medical Journal, vol.
Patients with RA are more likely to have coronary artery calcifications compared with those without RA.
Mohlenkamp et al., "Association of impaired fasting glucose and coronary artery calcification as a marker of subclinical atherosclerosis in a population-based cohort-results of the Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study," Diabetologia, vol.
Coronary artery calcification was more frequent in individuals with ED than in age-matched controls with similar coronary risk score.[sup.12] Furthermore, Vlachopoulos and colleagues reported angiographically documented silent CAD in 19% of patients with vasculogenic ED.[sup.13] Conversely, the extent and prevalence of coronary artery calcification (atherosclerosis) in ED patients could not be predicted by the presence of traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease.[sup.12]
The problem particularly affects patients with chronic kidney problems, with more than 80% of dialysis patients develop some degree of coronary artery calcification.
Objective: To investigate the role of coronary artery calcification score (Agatston score) in the prediction of renal calculi composition.
The researchers selected 495 men and women ages 35 to 47 with no evidence of coronary artery calcification (a precursor to CAD) on CT scans.
Clinicians use pulse pressure (an indicator of arterial stiffness and aging) to measure coronary artery calcification in patients on dialysis.
Short sleep duration and incident coronary artery calcification. JAMA, 2008; 300(24): 2859-66.
Resistin levels are elevated and associated with coronary artery calcification in SLE patients compared to age, gender, and race matched controls.

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