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High calcium level in arteries may signal serious heart attack risk
Date:7/28/2009

perfusion imaging. Over a median period of 5.4 years, the patients were followed up for severe cardiac events, meaning cardiac death or nonfatal heart attacks. Twenty-three of the 260 patients had a fatal or severe heart attack, and 40 additional patients underwent bypass surgery.

The results showed that patents with an initial calcium score greater than 400 were at significantly increased risk for severe cardiac events.

"We found that coronary calcium seems to play an important role in predicting subsequent heart attack or sudden cardiac death, and adds prognostic value to SPECT findings," said co-author Christopher Uebleis, M.D., member of the research unit for nuclear cardiology at Ludwig Maximilians University.

Dr. Hacker pointed out that combining calcium scoring and SPECT can help to identify patients with known CAD who are at highest risk for serious or fatal heart attacks.

"In these patients, intensified medical therapy, shorter follow-up intervals and, if necessary, bypass procedures may be required to prevent future severe cardiac events."


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Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

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