Coronary heart disease is the most common cause of death in Western countries, with a rising incidence in developing countries. It is part of the spectrum of cardiovascular diseases that have common end points of myocardial infarction, stroke and death. As these end points often occur suddenly and often in those with no known disease, identification of those people at high risk is important. Besides the known traditional risk factors, direct imaging of the calcified plaque as a marker for atherosclerotic disease has been extensively studied with electron beam computed tomography and now with multislice computed tomography. This review discusses the role of computed tomography in assessment of cardiovascular risk in both people with or without symptoms.
- CAC, coronary artery calcification
- CAD, coronary artery disease
- CHD, coronary heart disease
- EBCT, electron beam computed tomography
- MSCT, multislice computed tomography
- CVD, cardiovascular disease
- coronary heart disease
- computed tomography
- risk assessment
- calcified plaque
- atherosclerotic disease
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Competing interests: None.