Coronary Artery Calcification

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StatPearls [Internet]


Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body. Although the majority of calcium is found in teeth and bone, approximately 1% is dissolved in the bloodstream. As the human body ages, calcium can deposit in various parts of the body. Arterial calcium development is closely related to vascular injury, inflammation, and repair. Calcification occurs very early in the process of atherosclerosis; however, it is only able to be detected when it increases in quantity and using imaging modalities. This accumulation typically occurs after the age of 40 in men and women. The presence of coronary calcification is universal in all patients with documented coronary artery disease. Coronary artery calcium is most commonly evaluated by noncontrast, electrocardiographic (ECG)-gated cardiac electron beam computerized tomography (EBCT) or multidetector computed tomography (MDCT). The presence of coronary calcium score is associated with plaque burden; however, it is not a marker of plaque vulnerability. Nonetheless, it gives an insight to the patient’s level of cardiovascular disease risk and is helpful for guiding interventions or prevent coronary artery disease.


Bookshelf ID: NBK519037

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