Calcium deposition along the coronary artery walls is a surrogate biomarker for atherosclerosis, and its presence in the coronary arteries could reflect the severity of coronary artery disease (CAD). High coronary artery calcium score (CACS) correlates with advanced disease and a higher likelihood of coronary stenoses. Many studies have supported the role of CACS as a screening tool for CAD. Historically, CACS was introduced with electron beam computed tomography (EBCT), but in the last 30 years, many changes have occurred in CT, where the development of multidetector spiral technology has made reliable the noninvasive study of the heart and coronary arteries. Correlation studies with intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and histology have demonstrated the capability of multidetector CT (MDCT) to provide information useful for characterising atherosclerotic plaque in a noninvasive manner. This has shifted the interest from heavily calcified deposits to plaque with a low-density core and small, superficial calcified nodules, features more frequently present in atherosclerotic plaque prone to rupture and responsible for acute coronary events (culprit lesions). The purpose of this review article is to summarise the recent evolution and revolution in the field of CT, strengthen the importance of a coronary CT study not limited to CACS evaluation and CAD grading but also used to obtain information about plaque composition, and to improve stratification of the patient at risk for acute coronary events.
- Coronary Artery Calcium Score
- Coronary artery calcium score
- Multidetector computed tomography
- Tomografia computerizzata multidetettore