Objective: The degree of valvular calcification in patients with aortic stenosis was determined with retrospectively ECG-gated 16-MDCT and correlated with the severity of stenosis assessed at cardiac catheterization.
Subjects and methods: We conducted a prospective study of 72 patients (38 men and 34 women; mean age +/- SD, 69.5 +/- 8.8 years) with aortic stenosis who underwent 16-MDCT and cardiac catheterization. Aortic valve calcification was assessed using the aortic Agatston score, aortic mass score, and aortic volume score. Severity of aortic stenosis was classified at cardiac catheterization. Aortic valve area and peak-to-peak and mean transvalvular gradients were correlated with the degree of calcification determined on MDCT.
Results: All measured aortic valve calcification scores were significantly higher in patients with severe aortic stenosis (n = 46) than in patients with moderate (n = 15) or mild (n = 11, p < 0.001) aortic stenosis. Aortic valve calcification scores were inversely related to aortic valve area (r = -0.67, p < 0.001 for aortic mass score) and correlated significantly with peak-to-peak (r = 0.70, p < 0.001) and mean transvalvular (r = 0.72, p < 0.001) gradients. No correlation between the aortic valve calcification and the total coronary calcium scores was observed.
Conclusion: Aortic valve calcification assessed on 16-MDCT is associated with severity of aortic stenosis. Thus, aortic valve calcification scores should be calculated routinely in all patients undergoing MDCT for assessment of coronary calcification. High aortic valve calcification scores indicate possibly severe aortic stenosis and should prompt a further functional evaluation.