Incidental findings from routine CT scans can be helpful in identifying a patient’s cardiovascular risk, according to a study from University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands.
The researchers evaluated chest CT scans of 800 patients who were given it for non-cardiovascular purposes and compared them with the chest CT scans of 347 patients from the same group who experienced a cardiovascular event over the next 17 months.
Scores were given based on the incidental aortic abnormalities found on the scans, such as calcifications, elongation, plaques, and other irregularities, and factors such as patient’s age, gender were also taken into account.
The researchers found that the patients in the top 25% of projected cardiovascular risk according to the predictive model experienced 46% of all cardiovascular events.
Study lead author Martijn JA Gondrie said that the study was the first to investigate whether incidental findings can predict future disease in a routine care setting.
“Incidental findings are obtained without additional radiation exposure or cost to the patient and may hold valuable clues as to the patient’s overall health and their risk for future disease,” Gondrie added.