Incidental detection of coronary artery calcifications on non-cardiac thoracic ct examinations
Orta Kılıçkesmez, Kadriye
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Objective A strong relationship have been demonstrated between the presence of occlusive coronary artery disease and coronary artery calcifications detected at autopsy, fluoroscopy, or computed tomography (CT). The aim of our study was to evaluate the frequency of incidental coronary artery calcifications during thoracic CT examinations and to correlate them with cardiac risk factors. Materials and Methods: Thoracic CT scans obtained over a pereiod of6 months from 113 patients (72 male and 41 female) with a mean age of 62,7 (31-92 years) were retrospectively evaluated. The thoracic scans were performed using standard 9 mm consecutive slices from the apex to the base of the thorax, using a standard thoracic protocol, on a Siemens 16 channel multislice CT scanner. Coronary arteries were evaluated for calcifications. Results: Thirty-seven patients (32.7%) had coronary calcifications.18 patients (15.9%) had one, 9 patients (7.9%) had two, 7 patients (6.2%) had three, and 3 patients (2.6%) had four with vessel calcifications. The frequency of coronary calcifications was correlated with hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, nicotine abuse, and cardiomegaly. Diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, cardiomegaly and male gender were significantly associated with coronary calcifications (p<0.05). Conclusion: With the advent of multislice faster CT scanners, coronary artery calcifications are more frequently and easily detected during non-cardiac thoracic CT examinations. This retrospective study showed an increased incidence of coronary calcifications in patients with cardiac risk factors. Among these factors diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, cardiomegaly and male gender were statistically significant.