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Aortic Calcification – What Is It? And How Serious Is This For Heart Function?

Calcium deposits build on the heart's aortic valve, causing aortic calcification. These deposits may induce a narrowing of the aortic valve opening. This narrowing may progress to the point that blood flow through the aortic valve is reduced, a condition is known as aortic valve stenosis.

Even if you don't have any other symptoms of heart illness, aortic valve calcification might be an early warning indication.

Aortic calcification and stenosis mainly afflict adults over the age of 65. When it happens in young individuals, it is often caused by:

  • A cardiac abnormality that occurs during birth
  • Other conditions, such as renal failure

Aortic valve sclerosis, which causes thickness and stiffness of the valve and minor aortic calcification, seldom causes serious cardiac issues but needs annual examinations to ensure your disease isn't increasing. Aortic valve replacement surgery may be required if the valve gets substantially constricted (stenotic).

Calcified Aorta On Chest X-Ray

A chest X-ray is a quick screening technique for determining the reasons for chest discomfort or any accompanying problems. Previous epidemiologic studies found that aortic calcification detected on a chest X-ray was associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality and that aortic calcification was a robust independent predictor of cardiovascular events in addition to traditional risk factors such as endothelial dysfunction.

Aortic Calcification Causes

Calcium is a mineral that may be present in your blood. Calcium deposits on the heart valves may form when blood repeatedly runs across the aortic valve (aortic valve calcification).

Calcium deposits may never create any issues. Aortic valve stenosis caused by aging and calcium deposit development usually does not present symptoms until 70 or 80. On the other hand, calcium deposits cause stiffness of the valve cusps at a younger age, especially those with a congenital aortic valve abnormality.

Calcium deposits in the heart valves have not been connected to taking calcium supplements or consuming calcium-fortified beverages.

Researchers discovered a genetic variation that doubles the chance of calcium deposits on the aortic valve. If the calcification gets severe, it may cause the aortic valve to narrow or block, a disease known as aortic stenosis.

Age, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol levels, and smoking are non-genetic risk factors for aortic valve calcification. Men are more vulnerable than women.

Physician explaining cardiology diagnosis with an image of heart organ on a tablet to patient
Physician explaining cardiology diagnosis with an image of heart organ on a tablet to patient

Thoracic Aortic Calcification

Thoracic aortic calcification (TAC) is linked with poor cardiovascular outcomes and is most often seen by cardiovascular imagers in four settings:

  • Inadvertently, such as during a coronary artery calcium scan
  • As part of dedicated screening
  • In the assessment of an embolic event
  • As part of procedural planning.

Thoracic aortic calcification in various circumstances is the topic of this review. Thoracic aortic calcification is frequent in atherosclerosis, has a varied extent, and originates in the intima with a patchy distribution. Calcification predominantly affects the media and is frequently more concentric in metabolic diseases, aortitis, and radiation-associated cardiovascular illness. Atherosclerotic Thoracic aortic calcification has minimal incremental discriminative value as an accidental finding, and existing results do not warrant screening. The presence of thoracic atheroma after an embolic event improves diagnostic clarity but has limited therapeutic implications. The strategy is often altered if the most severe type of thoracic aortic calcification, a porcelain aorta, is detected before any treatment.

Abdominal Aortic Calcification

AAC is a sign of subclinical atherosclerotic disease and an independent predictor of eventual vascular morbidity and death. Vascular calcification is of tremendous interest in risk factors and subsequent consequences. Studies in the coronary arteries show a link between calcification and cardiovascular events, namely myocardial infarction. Calculating the abdominal aorta will likely impact later cardiovascular events such as aortic occlusion, aneurysm formation, and distal embolization. Vascular calcification produces bone tissue in atherosclerotic arteries, a complicated, controlled biomineralization process. The abdominal aorta is affected by two forms of vascular calcification: intimal and medial. Medial calcification, also known as Monckeberg sclerosis, develops independently of atherosclerosis and is typically detected in individuals with renal failure and type 2 diabetes.

Risk Factors

Aortic valve stenosis risk factors include:

  • Advancing years
  • Certain heart problems, such as a bicuspid aortic valve, are present at birth (congenital heart disease).
  • Infections that have harmed the heart in the past
  • Diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure are all risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
  • chronic Kidney illness
  • History of chest radiation treatment

People Also Ask

Is Aorta Calcification Common?

Calcification of the aortic arch was seen in 1.9 percent of males and 2.6 percent of women. In both sexes, its incidence rose with age. The gender difference was most noticeable in people 65 and older; 10.6 percent of males and 15.9 percent of women in this age group had aortic arch calcification.

How Long Can You Live With Aortic Calcification?

Severe symptomatic aortic stenosis has a terrible prognosis, with most patients dying 2-3 years after diagnosis.

What Causes Calcification Of The Aorta?

Age, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol levels, and smoking are non-genetic risk factors for aortic valve calcification. Men are more vulnerable than women.

What Can Be Done For Aortic Calcification?

The only proven therapy for calcific aortic stenosis is surgical valve replacement. The molecular processes responsible for this condition suggest that medicinal treatment may be possible for these individuals, according to a growing number of active fundamental scientific and clinical investigations.

Conclusion

Aortic calcification predicts an increased risk of cardiovascular events; nevertheless, the causes underlying this link need to be investigated further. Accurate assessment of aortic calcification is anticipated to be used more often to predict the risk of cardiovascular events.

About The Authors

Suleman Shah

Suleman Shah - Suleman Shah is a researcher and freelance writer. As a researcher, he has worked with MNS University of Agriculture, Multan (Pakistan) and Texas A & M University (USA). He regularly writes science articles and blogs for science news website immersse.com and open access publishers OA Publishing London and Scientific Times. He loves to keep himself updated on scientific developments and convert these developments into everyday language to update the readers about the developments in the scientific era. His primary research focus is Plant sciences, and he contributed to this field by publishing his research in scientific journals and presenting his work at many Conferences. Shah graduated from the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (Pakistan) and started his professional carrier with Jaffer Agro Services and later with the Agriculture Department of the Government of Pakistan. His research interest compelled and attracted him to proceed with his carrier in Plant sciences research. So, he started his Ph.D. in Soil Science at MNS University of Agriculture Multan (Pakistan). Later, he started working as a visiting scholar with Texas A&M University (USA). Shah’s experience with big Open Excess publishers like Springers, Frontiers, MDPI, etc., testified to his belief in Open Access as a barrier-removing mechanism between researchers and the readers of their research. Shah believes that Open Access is revolutionizing the publication process and benefitting research in all fields.

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