Relation of diagonal ear lobe crease to the presence, extent, and severity of coronary artery disease determined by coronary computed tomography angiography

Am J Cardiol. 2012 May 1;109(9):1283-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2011.12.024. Epub 2012 Feb 13.


Controversy exists concerning the relation between diagonal ear lobe crease (DELC) and coronary artery disease (CAD). We examined whether DELC is associated with CAD using coronary computed tomography (CT) angiography. We studied 430 consecutive patients without a history of coronary artery intervention who underwent CT angiography on a dual-source scanner. Presence of DELC was agreed by 2 blinded observers. Two blinded readers evaluated CT angiography images for presence of CAD and for significant CAD (≥50% stenosis). Chi-square and t tests were used to assess demographic differences between subgroups with and without DELC and the relation of DELC to 4 measurements of CAD: any CAD, significant CAD, multivessel disease (cutoff ≥2), and number of segments with plaque (cutoff ≥3). Multivariable logistic regression was performed to adjust for CAD confounders: age, gender, symptoms, and CAD risk factors. Mean age was 61 ± 13 and 61% were men. DELC was found in 71%, any CAD in 71%, and significant CAD in 17% of patients. After adjusting for confounders, DELC remained a significant predictor of all 4 measurements of CAD (odds ratio 1.8 to 3.3, p = 0.002 to 0.017). Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values for DELC in detecting any CAD were 78%, 43%, 77%, and 45%. Test accuracy was calculated at 67%. Area under the receiver operator characteristic curve was 61% (p = 0.001). In conclusion, in this study of patients imaged with CT angiography, finding DELC was independently and significantly associated with increased prevalence, extent, and severity of CAD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Coronary Angiography / methods*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ear Auricle / anatomy & histology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*