Aortic valve calcification: its significance and limitation as a marker for coronary artery disease

Angiology. 2002 Mar-Apr;53(2):165-9. doi: 10.1177/000331970205300206.


Aortic valve calcification (AVC) is correlated with atherosclerotic risk factors; however, its significance remains largely unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate whether AVC detected by transthoracic echocardiography can be a useful marker for the identification of significant coronary artery disease (CAD), particularly in elderly patients. The study included 432 consecutive patients with suspected CAD who were admitted for the first time for coronary angiography. Two-dimensional transthoracic echocardiography and selective coronary angiography were performed in all patients. Aortic valve calcification was defined as bright dense echoes of > 1 mm on one or more cusps and decreased mobility of the involved cusp. Aortic valve calcification was detected in 64 of the 337 patients with significant CAD, but only in 9 of 95 cases with normal or mildly stenotic coronary arteries (19% vs 9%, p < 0.001). The severity of coronary artery disease (defined as the number of obstructed vessels) was not related to the presence of AVC (p > 0.05). Stepwise multiple logistic regression analysis of the study patients revealed only age (p=0.003, odds ratio= 1.56) and AVC (p<0.001, odds ratio = 2.03) as independent predictors of CAD. When the study population was divided into two groups as those below (n = 338) and above (n = 94) 75 years old, AVC failed to be a predictor of CAD in those >75 years old (p > 0.05, odds ratio = 0.8) while it remained the most significant predictor of CAD (p<0.001, odds ratio=2.19 in patients aged <75 years. In conclusion, detection of AVC by transthoracic echocardiography may be a useful noninvasive marker for identification of significant CAD in patients younger than 75 years old. Its clinical usefulness is limited in elderly patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Valve / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Valve / pathology*
  • Calcinosis / complications*
  • Calcinosis / diagnosis
  • Calcinosis / epidemiology
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors