CT screened arterial calcification as a risk factor for mortality after trauma.
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Scand J Trauma Resusc Emerg Med
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BACKGROUND: Arterial calcification on Computerised Tomography (CT) is a marker of cardiovascular disease. It is predictive of future adverse cardiac events and mortality in many disease states. The incidence of arterial disease and its impact on outcomes of the injured is not known. The objectives of this study were to describe the incidence of arterial calcification in trauma patients, and establish its impact on mortality. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study of all injured patients aged over 45 years presenting to a major trauma centre over a 34-month period. The presence and quantity of coronary, aortic and abdominal arterial calcification on admission CT scans of the chest, abdomen and pelvis was established, and the association between cardiovascular disease and in-hospital mortality following trauma was determined. RESULTS: Five hundred ninety-one patients were included in the study. Cardiac calcium was visible on 432 (73 %) scans, and abdominal arterial calcification on 472 (79.9 %). Fifty (8.5 %) patients died. Patients with Superior Mesenteric (SMA) and Common Iliac Artery calcification had a significantly higher mortality than those without (p < 0.01). In multivariarate analysis, only SMA calcification was independently associated with mortality (OR 2.462, 95 % CI 1.08-5.60, p = 0.032). Coronary calcium demonstrated no independent statistical relationship with death (Left Anterior Descending Artery OR 1.189, 95 % CI 0.51-2.78, Circumflex OR 1.290, 95 % CI 0.56-2.98, Right Coronary Artery OR 0.483, 95 % CI 0.21-1.10). DISCUSSION: This study has demonstrated that the identification of arterial calcification on admission CT scans of trauma patients is possible. Calcification was common, and present in around three-quarters of injured individuals over the age of 45 years. SMA calcium was an independent predictor of mortality. However, whilst the presence of arterial calcium demonstrated a tendency towards lower survival, this association was not significant in other territories, including the coronary arteries. Future studies should investigate further the association and pathophysiology linking SMA disease and mortality in trauma, in addition to the relationship between longer tem survival, adverse cardiac events and arterial calcification in injured patients. CONCLUSIONS: Arterial calcification can be reliably identified on trauma CT scans, and is common in injured patients. Abdominal vascular calcification appears to be a better predictor of mortality than coronary artery disease.
AuthorsDe'Ath, HD; Oakland, K; Brohi, K
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