Can Total Cardiac Calcium Predict the Coronary Calcium Score?

By:Pressman, G.S., Crudu, V., Parameswaran, C.A., Romero-Corral, A., Purushottam, B., Fiqueredo, V.M.|Date: July 22, 2013|Source: J Appl Physiol. 1997 Mar;82(3):828-34



Mitral annular calcification (MAC) shares the same risk factors as atherosclerosis and is associated with coronary artery disease as well as cardiovascular events. However, sensitivity and positive predictive value are low. We hypothesized that a global echocardiographic calcium score would better predict coronary atherosclerotic burden, as assessed by coronary artery calcium score (CAC), than MAC alone.


An echocardiographic score was devised to measure global cardiac calcification in a semi-quantitative manner; this included calcification in the aortic valve and root, the mitral valve and annulus, and the sub-mitral apparatus. This score, and a simplified version, were compared with a similar calcification score by CT scan, as well as the CAC.


There was a good correlation between the two global calcification scores; the echocardiographic score also correlated with CAC. Using CAC >400 as a measure of severe coronary atherosclerosis, an echocardiographic score ?5 had a positive predictive value of 60%. Importantly, the simplified score performed equally well (?3 had a positive predictive value of 62%).


Global cardiac calcification, assessed by CT scan or echocardiography, correlates with the extent of coronary calcium. A semi-quantitative calcium score can be easily applied during routine echocardiographic interpretation and can alert the reader to the possibility of severe coronary atherosclerosis.

Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID: 19615766 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]