What does it mean to have calcification in the heart?

Aortic valve calcification is a condition in which calcium deposits form in the aortic valve. . Severe narrowing can reduce blood flow through the aortic valve, a condition called aortic valve stenosis.

Coronary artery

calcification is the buildup of calcium in the walls of the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart.

This calcium causes the walls to harden more, as is the case with atherosclerosis. It can also cause a narrowing of the inside of the coronary artery, which can limit blood flow to the heart muscle. Cardiac calcification is a broad term that refers to calcium deposits in heart valves, coronary arteries, myocardium, and pericardium. There is a unique meaning of these calcifications in each of these heart areas.

Although coronary artery calcifications may help to stratify the risk of intermediate-risk patients and make them a low or high risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), valve calcifications cause valve narrowing, leading to stenosis and flow abnormalities, and therefore symptoms resulting from valve narrowing. Pericardial calcifications may indicate constrictive pericarditis, while myocardial calcification may result from previous global myocardial injury (or infarction). When they are dense and heavy, calcifications can be detected with chest X-rays. However, more specific studies are more specific studies, such as computed tomography (CT) for myocardial and pericardial calcifications, cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) for coronary artery calcifications (CAC) and echocardiography for valve calcifications.

Coronary artery calcifications occur when calcium builds up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart. This buildup can cause coronary artery disease and increases the risk of having a heart attack. This can detect an early stage of atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries) and coronary artery disease. With the widespread use of diagnostic imaging modalities, healthcare providers are now more likely to find patients with cardiac calcifications.

Cardiac calcifications have a different diagnostic and prognostic importance depending on their location. These conditions can often cause a person to develop coronary artery calcifications at a much younger age. Chest images, including CT scans, may be difficult to distinguish calcifications in the coronary artery, valves, ring, pericardium, large vessel, lumen, and myocardium. The use of cardiac computed angiography to quantify these calcifications may help to stratify the risk of asymptomatic patients at intermediate risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) at high or low risk.

Myocardial calcifications are usually diagnosed as incidental findings on chest images or in the autopsy of patients. Heart-healthy habits, such as a low-fat diet and exercise, can help reduce the risk of calcifications and other chronic health conditions. However, advanced imaging, such as echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, as well as cardiac CTA, can help predict the precise location of these calcifications. If calcifications show no signs of serious illness, the doctor will usually recommend modifying the risk factors.

Aimee Carswell explains how coronary artery calcification is scored, what it means to have an obstruction and more. When present in the coronary arteries, calcifications predict the risk of future adverse cardiovascular events. Coronary artery calcification is more common in older adults, and calcium build-up begins around age 40. For pericardial calcifications seen on a chest X-ray or CT scan in patients with signs and symptoms of right heart failure, a thorough investigation of right heart function should be performed, including a catheterization of the right heart and an echocardiogram.

Pericardial calcifications on chest images suggest a diagnosis of constrictive pericarditis when supported by signs and symptoms and other definitive tests. Calcification makes it difficult for your healthcare provider to perform a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or an angioplasty. .

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