The present study describes the frequency and pattern of ligamentum arteriosum calcification seen on chest CT in adults.
Materials and Methods
We retrospectively reviewed 402 sequential unenhanced chest CT studies for ligamentum arteriosum calcification, atherosclerotic cardiac or aortic calcification, and granulomatous calcification. The pattern of calcification was characterized as curvilinear, punctate, or clumped.
Mean patient age was 60 (±18, range 18-97) years with 214 women (53%) and 188 men (47%). Of these patients 194 (48%) had calcification in the ligamentum arteriosum including 26 (6%) with calcification in the ligamentum arteriosum alone, 108 (27%) with atherosclerotic calcification, 11 (3%) with granulomatous calcification, and 49 (12%) with both. A total of 100 patients (25%) had no calcifications. In the study population 169 patients (42%) had atherosclerotic calcification, 32 (8%) had granulomatous calcification, and 75 (19%) had both. The patterns of calcification for the 26 patients with calcification of the ligamentum arteriosum alone were curvilinear (7 patients, 27%), punctate (17 patients, 65%), and clumped (2 patients, 8%). The pattern of ligamentum arteriosum calcification for the 108 patients with only atherosclerotic and ligamentum arteriosum calcification was curvilinear (28 patients, 26%), punctate (32 patients, 30%), and clumped (48 patients, 44%). The patients without any calcifications and the patients with ligamentum arteriosum calcification formed one group (based on their similarity in age, mean 47 years) with a prevalence of ligamentum arteriosum calcification of 21%. The patients with atherosclerotic and ligamentum arteriosum calcification formed a second group (mean age 71 years) with a prevalence of ligamentum arteriosum calcification of 65%.
On unenhanced chest CT calcification of the ligamentum arteriosum is a common finding in adults and increases in prevalence with increasing age and atherosclerosis.