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Diagonal Ear Lobe Crease Tied to Coronary Artery Disease

Related not only to presence but also to extent and severity of coronary artery disease

WEDNESDAY, May 16 (HealthDay News) -- Diagonal ear lobe crease (DELC) is independently and significantly associated with the prevalence, extent, and severity of coronary artery disease (CAD), according to a study published in the May 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

Haim Shmilovich, M.D., of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted a study involving 430 consecutive patients with no history of coronary artery intervention who underwent computed tomography (CT) angiography on a dual-source scanner to identify signs of CAD. The association between DELC and four measures of CAD was assessed: any CAD, significant CAD, multivessel disease (cutoff, ≥2), and number of segments with plaque (cutoff, ≥3).

The researchers identified DELC in 71 percent of participants, and CAD and significant CAD were found in 71 and 17 percent, respectively. DELC was a significant predictor of the four measurements of CAD, after adjusting for potential confounders (odds ratio, 1.8 to 3.3). The sensitivity of DELC to detect any CAD was 78 percent, specificity was 43 percent, and positive and negative predictive values were 77 and 45 percent, respectively. Overall, test accuracy was 67 percent and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 61 percent.

"By using the robustly validated power of CT angiography to identify CAD in terms of extent of disease and degree of stenosis, this is the first study to report that DELC is associated not only with the presence of CAD but also with its extent and severity," the authors write.

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