Practical determination of aortic valve calcium volume score on contrast-enhanced computed tomography prior to transcatheter aortic valve replacement and impact on paravalvular regurgitation: Elucidating optimal threshold cutoffs

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography








Calcium quantification; Calcium scoring; Paravalvular regurgitation; Self-expanding transcatheter valve; TAVR


© 2017 Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography Background The threshold for the optimal computed tomography (CT) number in Hounsfield Units (HU) to quantify aortic valvular calcium on contrast-enhanced scans has not been standardized. Our aim was to find the most accurate threshold to predict paravalvular regurgitation (PVR) after transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). Methods 104 patients who underwent TAVR with the CoreValve prosthesis were studied retrospectively. Luminal attenuation (LA) in HU was measured at the level of the aortic annulus. Calcium volume score for the aortic valvular complex was measured using 6 threshold cutoffs (650 HU, 850 HU, LA × 1.25, LA × 1.5, LA+50, LA+100). Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed to assess the predictive value for > mild PVR (n = 16). Multivariable analysis was performed to determine the accuracy to predict > mild PVR after adjustment for depth and perimeter oversizing. Results ROC analysis showed lower area under the curve (AUC) values for fixed threshold cutoffs (650 or 850 HU) compared to thresholds relative to LA. The LA+100 threshold had the highest AUC (0.81), and AUC was higher than all studied protocols, other than the LA x 1.25 and LA + 50 protocols, where the difference approached statistical significance (p = 0.05, and 0.068, respectively). Multivariable analysis showed calcium volume determined by the LAx1.25, LAx1.5, LA+50, and LA+ 100 HU protocols to independently predict PVR. Conclusions Calcium volume scoring thresholds which are relative to LA are more predictive of PVR post-TAVR than those which use fixed cutoffs. A threshold of LA+100 HU had the highest predictive value.