5-year mortality of chronic limb-threatening ischemia (CLTI) is 50-60% and coronary artery disease (CAD) is the main cause of death of CLTI patients, followed by stroke. The aim of this study is to quantify and qualify the calcium load in different arterial territories in patients with CLTI.
Prospectively, 60 patients with CLTI were included and received a full-body CT scan. 6 patients were excluded. Different arterial territories (the peripheral lower extremity arteries, coronary arteries, extracranial and intracranial carotid arteries, thoracic and abdominal aorta) were analyzed. Analysis and interrelations of both quantitative and semi-quantitative CT measurements was performed.
Mean age was 72 years (range 47-95; SD 11.4). Almost all CLTI patients had calcified arterial beds (femoropopliteal 100%, crural 98.1%, coronary 100%, carotid bifurcation 96.2%, internal carotid artery 98.1%, thoracic aorta 96.2%, abdominal aorta 92.3%). Nearly all arterial territories had severe calcifications. 57% had a very high coronary Agatston score (>1000), and 35% extremely high (>2000). Calcifications in the lower extremity were significantly correlated to CAC score, carotid artery bifurcation calcification score, and to a lesser extent correlated to annular calcifications in the aorta. Very high and extremely high total CAC scores were strongly correlated with severe lower extremity arterial calcifications and severe carotid and intracranial internal carotid artery, thoracic and abdominal aorta calcifications in patients with CLTI patients.
In CLTI patients nearly all arterial territories are severely calcified, suggesting that systemic calcification plays an important role in the poor outcome of this disease.

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