RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES - Extracoronary calcifications may have clinical significance. The error in extracoronary calcification measurements is still unknown. Accurate quantification of calcifications of the aortic valve (AVC), mitral annulus (MAC), and aortic wall (AWC) may be possible by using cardiac computed tomography (CT). We sought to establish the interscan, interobserver, and intraobserver reproducibility of these measures in all cardiac CT scans in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - We measured extracoronary calcifications in 100 randomly selected participants to assess interobserver, interscan, and intraobserver variability. Two scans were available for analysis in 99 of these participants, and we quantified thoracic aorta and valvular calcifications.
RESULTS - Mean interscan variability of AVC was 9.7% +/- 11.4% and 8% +/- 10.3% for Agatston and volume scores, with variability of the median at 6.4% and 5.5%, respectively (P > .05). MAC inter-reader variability was 8.2% and 8.9%, with interscan variability of 28% and 33% and intrareader variability of 4% and 4.1%, respectively. For AWC, inter-reader variability was 3%-7.1%, interscan variability was 17%-18%, and intrareader variability was 0.4%-1.4%.
CONCLUSION - AVC, MAC, and AWC measurements are sufficiently reproducible to allow serial investigations over a time suitable for clinical studies.