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Coronary Artery Calcium Linked to Heart Wall Motion Issues

Higher CAC score associated with increased risk of regional wall motion abnormalities

THURSDAY, Sept. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Subclinical atherosclerosis, as measured by coronary artery calcium (CAC), is associated with a higher chance of later regional wall motion abnormalities (RWMAs), according to research published in the October issue of Radiology.

Patrick M. Colletti, M.D., of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues analyzed data from 386 subjects in the South Bay Heart Watch study who were older than 45 at the beginning of the study and had multiple cardiac risk factors. Subjects underwent assessment of CAC with electron-beam computed tomography, and a mean of 11.4 years later were assessed for left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), RWMAs, and peak filling rate (PFR) using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging.

The researchers found that higher CAC scores were associated with RWMAs after adjusting for age and risk factors (P = .05). RWMAs were associated with significantly lower mean LVEF and PFR. Nearly half (41 percent) of subjects with RWMAs had documented Q-wave myocardial infarction. Having a CAC score of 100 or higher was related to a 2.2-fold increase in RWMA.

"The greater prevalence of RWMAs associated with higher baseline levels of CAC demonstrated in this study may have clinical relevance. Participants with CAC scores of 100 or greater had more than double the chance of having an RWMA compared with participants with lower CAC scores," the authors write. "In conclusion, we found that subclinical atherosclerosis demonstrated by CAC score correlates with future RWMAs, with associated reduced systolic and diastolic function not predicted by specific recorded coronary events."

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