Background: The association of known cardiovascular risk factors with poor prognosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been recently emphasized. Coronary artery calcium (CAC) score is considered a risk modifier in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. We hypothesized that the absence of CAC might have an additional predictive value for an improved cardiovascular outcome of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Materials and methods: We prospectively included 310 consecutive hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Thirty patients with history of coronary artery disease were excluded. Chest computed tomography (CT) was performed in all patients. Demographics, medical history, clinical characteristics, laboratory findings, imaging data, in-hospital treatment, and outcomes were retrospectively analyzed. A composite endpoint of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) was defined. Results: Two hundred eighty patients (63.2 ± 16.7 years old, 57.5% male) were included in the analysis. 46.7% patients had a CAC score of 0. MACE rate was 21.8% (61 patients). The absence of CAC was inversely associated with MACE (OR 0.209, 95% CI 0.052-0.833, p = 0.027), with a negative predictive value of 84.5%. Conclusion: The absence of CAC had a high negative predictive value for MACE in patients hospitalized with COVID-19, even in the presence of cardiac risk factors. A semi-qualitative assessment of CAC is a simple, reproducible, and non-invasive measure that may be useful to identify COVID-19 patients at a low risk for developing cardiovascular complications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number684528
Number of pages7
JournalFrontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2021 Luchian, Lochy, Motoc, Belsack, Magne, Roosens, de Mey, Tanaka, Scheirlynck, Boeckstaens, Van den Bussche, De Potter, von Kemp, Galloo, François, Weytjens, Droogmans and Cosyns.


  • Corona virus
  • chest computed tomography
  • coronary artery calcium score
  • major adverse cardiac and cerebral event
  • risk stratification


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