Spiral computed tomography evidence of close correlation between coronary and thoracic aorta calcifications

Yehuda Adler*, Enrique Z. Fisman, Joseph Shemesh, Ehud Schwammenthal, David Tanne, Israel R.Y. Batavraham, Michael Motro, Alexander Tenenbaum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coronary calcium (CC) is invariably associated with coronary atherosclerosis and can be diagnosed noninvasively by fast spiral computed tomography (dual slice mode) (CT). Calcium is often deposited in the aorta as well, but the pathogenesis, correlates and clinical implications of calcification of the aorta are not yet elucidated. A possible association between the presence of CC and thoracic aorta calcification, as detected by spiral CT, has not been investigated yet. The goal of the present work was to examine by spiral CT whether an association exists between the presence of CC and thoracic aorta calcification in patients with high risk for atherosclerotic development. Four hundred and five patients with at least two risk factors for atherosclerosis were included (212 men and 193 women, age ranged 52-79 years). All underwent chest CT for CC and aortic calcification scoring. Calcifications' thickness of ≥5 mm was considered advanced. CC was documented in 294 patients (170 men, 124 women; mean age 66 ± 6 years, range 55-78 years). The non-CC group (control) included 111 patients (42 men, 69 women; mean age 64 ± 6 years, range 52-79 years). Significant differences were found between CC group and control for the presence of ascending aorta calcification (69% versus 36%, P < 0.001), and advanced calcification of ≥5 mm (17% versus 4%, P < 0.001). Significant differences were also found between groups regarding the presence of descending aorta calcification (60% versus 38%, P < 0.001), and number of consecutive slices with calcification (18.8 ± 12.4 versus 10.7 ± 8.7, P < 0.01). We identified age (in decades) (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1. 2-3.0, P < 0.001), gender (female) (OR 0.4, 95% CI 0.2-0.6, P < 0.001), and thoracic aorta calcification (OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.7-5.0, P < 0.001) as the independent variables significantly associated with CC. Only age [odds ratio (OR) 3.05, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.86-5.01, P < 0.001] and CC (OR 2.53, 95% CI 1.26-5.08, P = 0.006) were identified as independent variables for the prediction of thoracic aorta calcification. Conclusions: Our study demonstrated a strong association of CC and calcification of the thoracic aorta on spiral CT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-138
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • Atherosclerosis
  • CT-spiral
  • Calcium
  • Coronary artery
  • Hypertension
  • Thoracic aorta


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