Is there a role for thoracic aortic calcium to fine-tune cardiovascular risk prediction?

Marc Hartmann, Clemens von Birgelen

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Screening asymptomatic subjects to streamline measures for the prevention of cardiovascular events remains a major challenge. The established primary prevention risk-scoring methods use equations derived from large prospective cohort studies, but further fine-tuning of cardiovascular risk assessment remains important as 25 % of individuals with low estimated risk may experience cardiac events. Independent studies provided evidence that extended risk assessment using coronary artery calcium quantification may improve risk stratification as it can lead to reclassification of persons at increased risk. Particularly in intermediate-risk subjects, coronary artery calcium scoring can help to correctly identify individuals at highest risk. Data on the extent of calcification of the ascending and descending thoracic aorta might be useful for additional cardiovascular risk stratification. Future analyses and studies will be required to answer the question of whether the implementation of such data may allow further fine-tuning of cardiovascular risk prediction in specific subpopulations—for instance in women or men with an increased risk of stroke and/or symptomatic peripheral vascular disease
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-219
JournalInternational journal of cardiovascular imaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013


  • METIS-290185
  • IR-82394
  • Thoracic aortic calcification
  • Coronary artery calcium
  • Computed tomography
  • Risk prediction
  • Calcium score

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