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Background Although several deep learning (DL) calcium scoring methods have achieved excellent performance for specific CT protocols, their performance in a range of CT examination types is unknown. Purpose To evaluate the performance of a DL method for automatic calcium scoring across a wide range of CT examination types and to investigate whether the method can adapt to different types of CT examinations when representative images are added to the existing training data set. Materials and Methods The study included 7240 participants who underwent various types of nonenhanced CT examinations that included the heart: coronary artery calcium (CAC) scoring CT, diagnostic CT of the chest, PET attenuation correction CT, radiation therapy treatment planning CT, CAC screening CT, and low-dose CT of the chest. CAC and thoracic aorta calcification (TAC) were quantified using a convolutional neural network trained with 1181 low-dose chest CT examinations (baseline), a small set of examinations of the respective type supplemented to the baseline (data specific), and a combination of examinations of all available types (combined). Supplemental training sets contained 199-568 CT images depending on the calcium burden of each population. The DL algorithm performance was evaluated with intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) between DL and manual (Agatston) CAC and (volume) TAC scoring and with linearly weighted κ values for cardiovascular risk categories (Agatston score; cardiovascular disease risk categories: 0, 1-10, 11-100, 101-400, >400). Results At baseline, the DL algorithm yielded ICCs of 0.79-0.97 for CAC and 0.66-0.98 for TAC across the range of different types of CT examinations. ICCs improved to 0.84-0.99 (CAC) and 0.92-0.99 (TAC) for CT protocol-specific training and to 0.85-0.99 (CAC) and 0.96-0.99 (TAC) for combined training. For assignment of cardiovascular disease risk category, the κ value for all test CT scans was 0.90 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.89, 0.91) for the baseline training. It increased to 0.92 (95% CI: 0.91, 0.93) for both data-specific and combined training. Conclusion A deep learning calcium scoring algorithm for quantification of coronary and thoracic calcium was robust, despite substantial differences in CT protocol and variations in subject population. Augmenting the algorithm training with CT protocol-specific images further improved algorithm performance. © RSNA, 2020 See also the editorial by Vannier in this issue.
Background The relationship of coronary artery calcium (CAC) with adverse cardiac remodeling is not well established. We aimed to study the association of CAC in middle age and change in CAC from early adulthood to middle age with left ventricular (LV) function. Methods CAC score was measured by computed tomography at CARDIA study (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) year-15 examination and at year-25 examination (Y25) in 3043 and 3189 participants, respectively. CAC score was assessed as a continuous variable and log-transformed to account for nonlinearity. Change in CAC from year-15 examination to Y25 was evaluated as the absolute difference of log-transformed CAC from year-15 examination to Y25. LV structure and function were evaluated by echocardiography at Y25. Results At Y25, mean age was 50.1±3.6 years, 56.6% women, 52.4% black. In the multivariable analysis at Y25, higher CAC was related to higher LV mass (β=1.218; adjusted P=0.007), higher LV end-diastolic volume (β=0.811; adjusted P=0.007), higher LV end-systolic volume (β=0.350; adjusted P=0.048), higher left atrial volume (β=0.214; adjusted P=0.009), and higher E/e' ratio (β=0.059; adjusted P=0.014). CAC was measured at both year-15 examination and Y25 in 2449 individuals. Higher change in CAC score during follow-up was independently related to higher LV mass index in blacks (β=4.789; adjusted P<0.001), but not in whites (β=1.051; adjusted P=0.283). Conclusions Higher CAC in middle age is associated with higher LV mass and volumes and worse LV diastolic function. Being free of CAC from young adulthood to middle age correlates to better LV function at middle age. Higher change in CAC score during follow-up is independently related to higher LV mass index in blacks.
Background While prior studies have linked the neighborhood environment and development of subclinical atherosclerosis, it is unknown whether living in neighborhoods with greater availability of "unhealthy" food outlets (fast-food chain restaurants and convenience stores) is associated with risk of developing coronary artery calcification ( CAC ). Methods and Results We included 2706 CARDIA study (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) participants who underwent CAC measurement during follow-up years 15 (2000-2001), 20 (2005-2006), and 25 (2010-2011). Neighborhood features examined included percentage of all food outlets that were convenience stores and fast-food chain restaurants within a 3-km Euclidean buffer distance from each participant's residence. Econometric fixed effects models, which by design control for all time-invariant covariates, were used to model the longitudinal association between simultaneous within-person change in percentage food outlet and change in CAC . At baseline (year 15), 9.7% of participants had prevalent CAC . During 10 years of follow-up, 21.1% of participants developed CAC . Each 1-SD increase in percentage of convenience stores was associated with a 1.34 higher odds of developing CAC (95% CI : 1.04, 1.72) after adjusting for individual- and neighborhood-level covariates; however, there was no significant association between increased percentage of fast-food chain restaurants and developing CAC (odds ratio=1.15; 95% CI : 0.96, 1.38). There were no significant associations between increases in either food outlet percentage and progression of CAC . Conclusions Our findings suggest that increases in the relative availability of convenience stores in participants' neighborhoods is related to the development of CAC over time.
BACKGROUND - Coronary artery calcified plaque (CAC) is strongly predictive of cardiovascular disease (CVD) events and mortality, both in general populations and individuals with type 2 diabetes at high risk for CVD. CAC is typically reported as an Agatston score, which is weighted for increased plaque density. However, the role of CAC density in CVD risk prediction, independently and with CAC volume, remains unclear.
METHODS - We examined the role of CAC density in individuals with type 2 diabetes from the family-based Diabetes Heart Study and the African American-Diabetes Heart Study. CAC density was calculated as mass divided by volume, and associations with incident all-cause and CVD mortality [median follow-up 10.2 years European Americans (n = 902, n = 286 deceased), 5.2 years African Americans (n = 552, n = 93 deceased)] were examined using Cox proportional hazards models, independently and in models adjusted for CAC volume.
RESULTS - In European Americans, CAC density, like Agatston score and volume, was consistently associated with increased risk of all-cause and CVD mortality (p ≤ 0.002) in models adjusted for age, sex, statin use, total cholesterol, HDL, systolic blood pressure, high blood pressure medication use, and current smoking. However, these associations were no longer significant when models were additionally adjusted for CAC volume. CAC density was not significantly associated with mortality, either alone or adjusted for CAC volume, in African Americans.
CONCLUSIONS - CAC density is not associated with mortality independent from CAC volume in European Americans and African Americans with type 2 diabetes.
OBJECTIVES - This study assessed the utility of the pooled cohort equation (PCE) and/or coronary artery calcium (CAC) for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk assessment in smokers, especially those who were lung cancer screening eligible (LCSE).
BACKGROUND - The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services currently pays for annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography scans in a specified group of cigarette smokers. CAC can be obtained from these low-dose scans. The incremental utility of CAC for ASCVD risk stratification remains unclear in this high-risk group.
METHODS - Of 6,814 MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis) participants, 3,356 (49.2% of total cohort) were smokers (2,476 former and 880 current), and 14.3% were LCSE. Kaplan-Meier, Cox proportional hazards, area under the curve, and net reclassification improvement (NRI) analyses were used to assess the association between PCE and/or CAC and incident ASCVD. Incident ASCVD was defined as coronary death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or fatal or nonfatal stroke.
RESULTS - Smokers had a mean age of 62.1 years, 43.5% were female, and all had a mean of 23.0 pack-years of smoking. The LCSE sample had a mean age of 65.3 years, 39.1% were female, and all had a mean of 56.7 pack-years of smoking. After a mean of 11.1 years of follow-up 13.4% of all smokers and 20.8% of LCSE smokers had ASCVD events; 6.7% of all smokers and 14.2% of LCSE smokers with CAC = 0 had an ASCVD event during the follow-up. One SD increase in the PCE 10-year risk was associated with a 68% increase risk for ASCVD events in all smokers (hazard ratio: 1.68; 95% confidence interval: 1.57 to 1.80) and a 22% increase in risk for ASCVD events in the LCSE smokers (hazard ratio: 1.22; 95% confidence interval: 1.00 to 1.47). CAC was associated with increased ASCVD risk in all smokers and in LCSE smokers in all the Cox models. The C-statistic of the PCE for ASCVD was higher in all smokers compared with LCSE smokers (0.693 vs. 0.545). CAC significantly improved the C-statistics of the PCE in all smokers but not in LCSE smokers. The event and nonevent net reclassification improvements for all smokers and LCSE smokers were 0.018 and -0.126 versus 0.16 and -0.196, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS - In this well-characterized, multiethnic U.S. cohort, CAC was predictive of ASCVD in all smokers and in LCSE smokers but modestly improved discrimination over and beyond the PCE. However, 6.7% of all smokers and 14.2% of LCSE smokers with CAC = 0 had an ASCVD event during follow-up.
Copyright © 2019 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Coronary artery calcified atherosclerotic plaque (CAC) predicts cardiovascular disease (CVD). Despite exposure to more severe conventional CVD risk factors, African Americans (AAs) are less likely to develop CAC, and when they do, have markedly lower levels than European Americans. Genetic factors likely contribute to the observed ethnic differences. To identify genes associated with CAC in AAs with type 2 diabetes (T2D), a genome-wide association study (GWAS) was performed using the Illumina 5 M chip in 691 African American-Diabetes Heart Study participants (AA-DHS), with replication in 205 Jackson Heart Study (JHS) participants with T2D. Genetic association tests were performed on the genotyped and 1000 Genomes-imputed markers separately for each study, and combined in a meta-analysis.
RESULTS - Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs11353135 (2q22.1), rs16879003 (6p22.3), rs5014012, rs58071836 and rs10244825 (all on chromosome 7), rs10918777 (9q31.2), rs13331874 (16p13.3) and rs4459623 (18q12.1) were associated with presence and/or quantity of CAC in the AA-DHS and JHS, with meta-analysis p-values ≤8.0 × 10. The strongest result in AA-DHS alone was rs6491315 in the 13q32.1 region (parameter estimate (SE) = -1.14 (0.20); p-value = 9.1 × 10). This GWAS peak replicated a previously reported AA-DHS CAC admixture signal (rs7492028, LOD score 2.8).
CONCLUSIONS - Genetic association between SNPs on chromosomes 2, 6, 7, 9, 16 and 18 and CAC were detected in AAs with T2D from AA-DHS and replicated in the JHS. These data support a role for genetic variation on these chromosomes as contributors to CAC in AAs with T2D, as well as to variation in CAC between populations of African and European ancestry.
BACKGROUND - Among women aged 50 to 59 years at baseline in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) Estrogen-Alone (E-Alone) trial, randomization to conjugated equine estrogen-alone versus placebo was associated with lower risk of myocardial infarction and mortality, and, in an ancillary study, the WHI-CACS (WHI Coronary Artery Calcification Study) with lower CAC, measured by cardiac computed tomography ≈8.7 years after baseline randomization. We hypothesized that higher CAC would be related to post-trial coronary heart disease (CHD), cardiovascular disease (CVD), and total mortality, independent of baseline randomization or risk factors.
METHODS AND RESULTS - WHI-CACS participants (n=1020) were followed ≈8 years from computed tomography scan in 2005 (mean age=64.4) through 2013 for incident CHD (myocardial infarction and fatal CHD, n=17), CVD (n=69), and total mortality (n=55). Incident CHD and CVD analyses excluded women with CVD before scan (n=89). Women with CAC=0 (n=54%) had very low age-adjusted rates/1000 person-years of CHD (0.91), CVD (5.56), and mortality (3.45). In comparison, rates were ≈2-fold higher for women with any CAC (>0). Associations were not modified by baseline randomization to conjugated equine estrogen-alone versus placebo. Adjusted for baseline randomization and risk factors, the hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) for CAC >100 (19%) was 4.06 (2.11, 7.80) for CVD and 2.70 (1.26, 5.79) for mortality.
CONCLUSIONS - Among a subset of postmenopausal women aged 50 to 59 years at baseline in the WHI E-Alone Trial, CAC at mean age of 64 years was strongly related to incident CHD, CVD, and to total mortality over ≈8 years, independent of baseline randomization to conjugated equine estrogen-alone versus placebo or CVD risk factors.
CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION - URL: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00000611.
© 2017 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley.
OBJECTIVE - To evaluate 25-year physical activity (PA) trajectories from young to middle age and assess associations with the prevalence of coronary artery calcification (CAC).
PATIENTS AND METHODS - This study includes 3175 participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study who self-reported PA by questionnaire at 8 follow-up examinations over 25 years (from March 1985-June 1986 through June 2010-May 2011). The presence of CAC (CAC>0) at year 25 was measured using computed tomography. Group-based trajectory modeling was used to identify PA trajectories with increasing age.
RESULTS - We identified 3 distinct PA trajectories: trajectory 1, below PA guidelines (n=1813; 57.1%); trajectory 2, meeting PA guidelines (n=1094; 34.5%); and trajectory 3, 3 times PA guidelines (n=268; 8.4%). Trajectory 3 participants had higher adjusted odds of CAC>0 (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.27; 95% CI, 0.95-1.70) vs those in trajectory 1. Stratification by race showed that white participants who engaged in PA 3 times the guidelines had higher odds of developing CAC>0 (OR, 1.80; 95% CI, 1.21-2.67). Further stratification by sex showed higher odds for white males (OR, 1.86; 95% CI, 1.16-2.98), and similar but nonsignificant trends were noted for white females (OR, 1.71; 95% CI, 0.79-3.71). However, no such higher odds of CAC>0 for trajectory 3 were observed for black participants.
CONCLUSION - White individuals who participated in 3 times the recommended PA guidelines over 25 years had higher odds of developing coronary subclinical atherosclerosis by middle age. These findings warrant further exploration, especially by race, into possible biological mechanisms for CAC risk at very high levels of PA.
Copyright © 2017 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - Excess deposition of fat within and around vital organs and nonadipose tissues is hypothesized to contribute to cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. We evaluated the association of abdominal intermuscular adipose tissue (IMAT) volume with coronary artery calcification in the CARDIA study (Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults) participants.
APPROACH AND RESULTS - We measured IMAT in the abdominal muscles, visceral adipose tissue and pericardial adipose tissue, and coronary artery calcification using computed tomography in 3051 CARDIA participants (56% women) at the CARDIA year 25 examination (2010-2011). Mean IMAT volume and mean IMAT/total muscle volume (IMAT normalized for muscle size) were calculated in a 10-mm block of slices centered at L3-L4. Multivariable analyses included potential confounders and traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors. Compared with the lowest quartile, the upper quartile of abdominal IMAT volume was associated with higher coronary artery calcification prevalence (odds ratio [95% confidence interval], 1.6 [1.2-2.1]) after adjusting for cardiovascular disease risk factors. Results were similar for highest versus lowest quartile of IMAT normalized to total muscle volume (odds ratio [95% confidence interval], 1.5 [1.1-2.0]). Significant associations of higher IMAT and normalized IMAT with coronary artery calcification prevalence persisted when body mass index, visceral adipose tissue, or pericardial adipose tissue were added to the models.
CONCLUSIONS - In a large, community-based, cross-sectional study, we found that higher abdominal skeletal muscle adipose tissue volume was associated with subclinical atherosclerosis independent of traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors and other adipose depots.
© 2017 American Heart Association, Inc.