August 15, 2009

Mitral Annulus Calcification

PA and lateral chest radiographs of an 80-year-old woman show an inverted "C"-shaped calcification over the heart in a characteristic location of the mitral valve.

Facts: Mitral Annulus Calcification
  • Noninflammatory chronic degenerative process
  • Mitral valve ring (annulus) may calcify in older individuals (>60 years)
  • Women more common than men
Pattern on Imaging
  • Small calcium forms in or below mitral annulus at junction between ventricular myocardium and posterior mitral leaflet
  • Severe disease resembles the letter J, O, or reversed C
Clinical Significance
  • Little clinical significance in most cases
  • May grow into ventricular myocardium to produce heart block, into mitral leaflets to cause mitral regurgitation and stenosis, through endocardium to cause small systemic emboli
  • Mitral annulus calcification in the elderly is an independent risk factor of developing stroke

Miller SW, Boxt LM, Abbara S. Cardiac Imaging the Requisites. 2009.

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