The radiographic distinction between pericardial and myocardial calcifications.
Calcification overlying the left side of the heart on a chest radiograph may involve either the pericardium or, alternatively, the myocardium in association with a left ventricular aneurysm. Distinction between these two conditions can be of great clinical significance. To identify distinguishing features, we reviewed the radiographs and medical records of 29 patients: 14 had proven calcific pericarditis and 15 had proven calcified left ventricular aneurysm. Pericardial calcification was found primarily over the right-sided cardiac chambers (14 of 14 patients) and in the atrioventricular grooves (11 of 14), infrequently over the base of the left ventricle (five of 14), and rarely over the apex of the left ventricle (two of 14). When the left ventricle was involved, there was always more extensive calcification elsewhere in the pericardium. Myocardial calcification occurred predominantly in the apex of the left ventricle (13 of 15 patients), although it was rarely confined to the posterior wall of the left ventricle (two of 15). By noting characteristic sites of calcium deposition, pericardial calcification can be effectively distinguished from myocardial calcification. Isolated calcification in the region of the left ventricular apex, therefore, strongly suggests left ventricular aneurysm.
MacGregor, JH; Chen, JT; Chiles, C; Kier, R; Godwin, JD; Ravin, CE
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