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Predictive factors of thoracic aortic calcification in patients candidate for cardiac surgery.

BACKGROUND: The presence of the severe thoracic aortic calcification (TAC) in cardiac surgery patients is associated with adverse post-operative outcome. However, the relationship between cardiovascular risk factors and aortic plaque burden remains unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the predictive factors of TAC in patients candidate for cardiac surgery.

METHODS: Patients who underwent thoracic CT scan prior to cardiac surgery between August 2020 to April 2021 were included. Of 556 patients, 209 (36.7%) had a thoracic aortic calcium score (TACS) ≥ 400 mm [3] and were compare with the remaining patients. Predictors of severe TAC were assessed through stepwise multivariable logistic regression analysis.

RESULTS: The patients with TACS ≥ 400 had a higher mean age (67.3 ± 7.1 vs. 55.7 ± 10.6; p < 0.001) with a higher frequency of diabetes mellitus (40.7% vs. 30.8%; p = 0.018), dyslipidemia (49.8% vs. 38.6%; p = 0.010), hypertension (60.8% vs. 44.7%; p < 0.001), opium addiction (18.2% vs. 11.2%; p = 0.023), peripheral vascular disease (PVD) (7.7% vs. 2.3%; p = 0.005) as compared with TACS < 400. The multiple determinants of TAC were PVD (OR = 2.86) followed by opium addiction, diabetes and age.

CONCLUSIONS: Thoracic CT scan prior to cardiac surgery for patients with older age, diabetes, opium addiction and PVD is recommended. Our study could serve as a foundation for future research endeavors aimed at establishing a risk score for TAC.

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