Does Atherosclerotic Aortic Plaque Detected by Telecardiography Indicate an Increased Risk of Coronary Artery Disease?
Objective. The purpose of this study was to determine the cause of aortic arch calcification and to evaluate its prognostic value as an indicator of cardiovascular disease and its severity.
Methods and Results. The study was conducted prospectively among 1027 patients who underwent a coronary angiography in our hospital between April 2002 and September 2002 for suspected coronary artery disease. All chest x-rays were reviewed by a radiologist, who categorized aortic arch calcifications by their presence or absence. The patients were stratified according to age (?50, 51-64, and ?65 years) to eliminate the influence of age on aortic arch calcification. Coronary lesions were considered either single-vessel or multivessel disease. Univariate analysis revealed significant correlation with age (r = 0.37; P < .001), presence of hypertension (r = 0.14; P < .001), smoking (r = -0.10; P = .001), presence of coronary artery disease (r = 0.10; P = .001), and the existence of multi-vessel disease (r = 0.09; P = .006). Multivariate analysis disclosed significant association with age and hypertension and no association with smoking, coronary artery disease, and other risk factors.
Conclusion. The aortic arch calcifications observed on plain chest x-rays are usually age related, and both aortic arch calcifications and coronary artery disease are strongly associated with age. The presence of aortic calcification on chest x-rays was not an indicator of the presence and extent of coronary artery disease.
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