The association of incidentally detected heart valve calcification with future cardiovascular events

Martijn J. A. Gondrie*, Yolanda van der Graaf, Peter C. Jacobs, Ay L. Oen, Willem P. Th M. Mali

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This study aims to investigate the prognostic value of incidental aortic valve calcification (AVC), mitral valve calcification (MVC) and mitral annular calcification (MAC) for cardiovascular events and non-rheumatic valve disease in particular on routine diagnostic chest CT.The study followed a case-cohort design. 10410 patients undergoing chest CT were followed for a median period of 17 months. Patients referred for cardiovascular disease were excluded. A random sample of 1285 subjects and the subjects who experienced an endpoint were graded for valve calcification by three reviewers. Cox-proportional hazard analysis was performed to evaluate the prognostic value.515 cardiovascular events were ascertained. Compared with patients with no valve calcification, patients with severe AVC, MVC or MAC had respectively 2.03 (1.48-2.78), 2.08 (1.04-4.19) and 1.53 (1.13-2.08) increased risks of experiencing an event during follow-up. For valve endpoints the hazard ratios were respectively 14.57 (5.19-40.53), 8.78 (2.33-33.13) and 2.43 (1.18-4.98).Incidental heart valve calcification, detected on routine chest CT is an independent predictor of future cardiovascular events. The study emphasises how incidental imaging findings can contribute to clinical care. It is a step in the process of composing an evidence-based approach in the reporting of incidental subclinical findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)963-973
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Survival analysis
  • Heart valves
  • Thorax
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Computed tomography

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