Purpose: To assess the reliability of electron beam computed tomography (CT) in the detection of calcific deposits in coronary arteries.
Materials and methods: The authors quantitatively evaluated a total of 4,298 segments of coronary arteries with electron beam CT and histomorphometry.
Results: Regression analysis of the electron beam CT calcium score versus histomorphometric calcium area produced an r2 value of .92 (r = .96; P < .0001). Ninety-three percent (78 of 84) of all coronary arteries with stenosis of 76%-100% contained calcific deposits, and 20% (17 of 83) of all coronary arteries with stenosis of 0%-50% contained calcific deposits.
Conclusion: The amount of calcific deposits detected with electron beam CT correlates highly with histomorphometric measurements. Also, the amount of calcific deposits correlates well with the degree of coronary artery stenosis. Electron beam CT, therefore, is a promising noninvasive technique that can help depict the presence and extent of atherosclerotic plaques.