Calcification of coronary arteries: detection and quantification with double-helix CT

Radiology. 1995 Dec;197(3):779-83. doi: 10.1148/radiology.197.3.7480756.


Purpose: To evaluate the accuracy of double-helix computed tomography (CT) in coronary artery calcification detection and quantification.

Materials and methods: One hundred sixty patients with coronary disease (135 men, 25 women; age range, 45-62 years), of whom 138 had obstructive (stenosis of > 50% of diameter; n = 129) or mild (< 50% stenosis; n = 9) coronary artery disease (CAD) and 22 had normal coronary arteries (per angiographic findings), and 56 age-matched healthy control subjects underwent double-helix CT.

Results: Double-helix CT findings indicated that calcification was significantly more prevalent in patients with CAD (> 83%) than in patients with normal coronary arteries (27%) or in healthy control subjects (34%; P < .01). Sensitivity in detecting obstructive CAD was high (91%); however, specificity was low (52%) because of calcification in nonobstructive lesions. Comparison of double-helix CT and angiographic findings indicated that double-helix CT was 84% accurate with positive and negative predictive values of 89% and 59%, respectively.

Conclusion: Double-helix CT is a useful noninvasive method for detection and quantification of coronary artery calcification.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angina Pectoris / diagnostic imaging
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Calcinosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnostic imaging
  • Odds Ratio
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement / methods
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sex Factors
  • Tomography Scanners, X-Ray Computed
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*