Cardiovascular disease prediction: do pulmonary disease-related chest CT features have added value?

Jairam, Pushpa M., de Jong, Pim A., Mali, Willem P. Th. M., Isgum, I, van der Graaf, Yolanda


European Radiology 25 (6), p. 1646-1654


Certain pulmonary diseases are associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Therefore we investigated the incremental predictive value of pulmonary, mediastinal and pleural features over cardiovascular imaging findings.

A total of 10,410 patients underwent diagnostic chest CT for non-cardiovascular indications. Using a case-cohort approach, we visually graded CTs from the cases and from an approximately 10 % random sample of the baseline cohort (n = 1,203) for cardiovascular, pulmonary, mediastinal and pleural findings. The incremental value of pulmonary disease-related CT findings above cardiovascular imaging findings in cardiovascular event risk prediction was quantified by comparing discrimination and reclassification.

During a mean follow-up of 3.7 years (max. 7.0 years), 1,148 CVD events (cases) were identified. Addition of pulmonary, mediastinal and pleural features to a cardiovascular imaging findings-based prediction model led to marginal improvement of discrimination (increase in c-index from 0.72 (95 % CI 0.71-0.74) to 0.74 (95 % CI 0.72-0.75)) and reclassification measures (net reclassification index 6.5 % (p <0.01)).

Pulmonary, mediastinal and pleural features have limited predictive value in the identification of subjects at high risk of CVD events beyond cardiovascular findings on diagnostic chest CT scans.