Aortic valve calcium content does not predict aortic valve area

Emile R. Mohler, Elizabeth Medenilla, Hao Wang, Craig Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aim of the study: Aortic stenosis (AS) is a common clinical problem which frequently necessitates aortic valve replacement (AVR). The traditional view of progressive AS is a 1:1 inverse relationship between valve calcium content and aortic valve area (AVA). However, this assumption has been based on subjective estimates of calcification on chest X-radiographic images. The study aim was to evaluate the relationship between AVA as measured with echocardiography compared to calcium quantification using electron beam computed tomography (EBT). Methods: Sixty-one patients with an AVA between 0.7 and 2.0 cm2 underwent an EBT scan to evaluate the aortic valve calcium content. Results: The mean (± SD) aortic valve Agatston calcium score was 1,458.4 ± 1,362.2, and for the aortic valve volume score was 1,178.8 ± 1,066.0. The aortic valve Agatston score did not correlate strongly with AVA (r = -0.34, 95% CI -0.54, -0.09; p = 0.007). The data pattern appeared curvilinear, with the poorest correlation noted for those patients with moderate and severe aortic valve calcification. Conclusion: The study findings support the hypothesis that the aortic valve orifice area decreases not only due to calcium accumulation but also to sclerotic processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-328
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Heart Valve Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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