Non-coronary cardiac calcifications and outcomes in patients with heart failure

Guy Topaz*, Eyal Yehezkel, Sydney Benchetrit, Ze'ev Korzets, Yoav Arnson, Yona Kitay-Cohen, David Pereg, Keren Cohen-Hagai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Calcium deposits on heart valves are considered a local manifestation of atherosclerosis and are associated with poor cardiovascular outcomes. The clinical significance of cardiac calcifications among heart failure (HF) patients, as assessed by echocardiography, is unknown. This study evaluated associations of cardiac calcifications with mortality and hospital admissions in this specific population. Methods: Medical records of all patients who initiated ambulatory surveillance at our HF clinic during 2011–2018 were reviewed. Calcifications in the aortic valve, aortic root, or the mitral valve were evaluated. Patients with moderate to severe regurgitation or stenosis of the aortic or mitral valves were excluded. The primary endpoint was the composite of long-term all-cause mortality and HF hospitalizations. Secondary endpoints were long-term all-cause mortality and more than one hospitalization due to HF. Results: This retrospective study included 814 patients (mean age 70.9 ± 13 years, 63.2% male). Of the total cohort, 350 (43%) had no cardiac calcifications and 464 (57%) had at least 1 calcified site. Considering the patients with no calcification as the reference group yielded a higher adjusted odds ratios for the composite endpoint, all-cause death, and recurrent HF hospitalizations, among patients with any cardiac calcification (OR = 1.68, 95%CI = 1.1–2.5, p = 0.01, OR=1.61, 95%CI = 1.1–2.3, p < 0.01, and OR = 1.50, 95%CI = 1.1–2.2, p < 0.01, respectively). Conclusions: We found an independent association between cardiac calcifications and the risk of death and HF hospitalizations among ambulatory HF patients. Cardiac calcifications evaluated during routine echocardiography may contribute to the risk stratification of patients with HF.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-87
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Cardiac calcifications
  • Heart failure
  • Mortality
  • Recurrent hospitalizations


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