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Echocardiography can detect calcium deposits in heart valves and aortic root, but the relationship of echocardiographic heart calcification such as aortic valve calcification AVC , mitral annular calcification MAC , and aortic root calcification ARC with future cardiovascular disease CVD mortality and morbidity is not fully elucidated.

We analyzed data from patients with suspected coronary heart disease mean age, Subjects were followed for mean 2. Cardiovascular morbidity was defined as new episodes of non-fatal myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, stroke, and surgical treatment of vascular disease.

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We use cookies to help provide and enhance our service and tailor content and ads. By continuing you agree to the use of cookies. Download PDF Download. Microcalcification, a clinically more significant manifestation of vascular mineralization, represents the early stages of intimal calcium formation and greatly amplifies mechanical stresses on the surface of the fibrous plaque that may directly contribute to its rupture. With progressive calcification, plaque inflammation becomes pacified with its necrotic core walled off from the blood pool.

The latter stages of macrocalcification are, therefore, associated with plaque stability and lower risk of plaque rupture. However, morphologic calcific imaging techniques such as CT, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging MRI are readily available to identify the macrocalcification because of their superb spatial resolution.

Altering Calcium Build-Up In Blood Vessels May Be New Treatment Method For Heart Disease

Figure 1 The link between inflammation, microcalcification, and macrocalcification. A large necrotic core, a thin fibrous cap, and an intense inflammation are key precipitants of acute plaque rupture and myocardial infarction. Intimal calcification is thought to occur as a healing response to this intense necrotic inflammation. In part, this is because of residual plaque inflammation and in part because microcalcification itself increases mechanical stress in the fibrous cap, further increasing propensity to rupture.

With progressive calcification, plaque inflammation becomes pacified and the necrotic core is walled off from the blood pool.

The later stages of macrocalcification detected by noninvasive imaging techniques such as computed tomography [CT] and magnetic resonance imaging [MRI], and by invasive imaging techniques such as intravascular ultrasound and optical coherence tomography are, therefore, associated with plaque stability and a lower risk of that plaque rupturing Illustration credit: Ben Smith.

Figure 2 Multimodality imaging of cardiovascular calcification. Representative illustration of current and emerging calcification imaging multimodalities. Each modality offers unique measurements of calcification.

Together, they offer the molecular, anatomical, and functional imaging of calcification, which can be used to make sense of current calcific activity, the procession of atherosclerosis, and overall disease burden in patients. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc. View PDF. Tools Add to favorites Download citations Track citations. Jump to. Michael T.

Altering Calcium Build-Up In Blood Vessels May Be New Treatment Method For Heart Disease

Osborne Michael T. Download figure Download PowerPoint. Originally published June 28, Title Caption. Directly image the vessel wall. Ability to detect hyperechoic calcified plaque. Limited axial resolution. Limited ability in accurate assessment of plaque composition. Inability to detect microcalcification. Provide a simple, rapid and reliable quantification of macroscopic calcium, and the total coronary calcification burden.

Lower resolution and poor tissue contrast. Inability to provide information on plaque morphology or subtype. High spatial and temporal resolution. Requires the administration of contrast agent.

Difficulty in identifying and quantifying calcium in the presence of iodine in contrast media.