The presence of coronary artery calcifications is a distinct marker of atherosclerosis and the severity of calcifications is claimed to reflect a patient's individual plaque burden. Calcium deposits can be detected non-invasively by cardiac computed tomography (CT). This enables detection of coronary artery disease in a subclinical stage, description of the extent of the disease and risk estimation of future cardiovascular events. However, calcium quantification may also be used to monitor atherosclerotic disease, for example in the context of an intensified medical treatment. For years, electron-beam CT has been considered the gold-standard for calcium scoring. However, multi-slice spiral CT has recently captured the market and seems to achieve better measuring results with regard to the accuracy and reproducibility of calcium scores because of its superior image quality. For an optimal comparability of different CT techniques the calcium load should now be reported as absolute calcium mass rather than the traditional scoring methods.

Copyright © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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