Radiation exposure and coronary artery calcium scans in the society for heart attack prevention and eradication cohort

  • Amish A. Patel
  • Jeffrey Fine
  • Morteza Naghavi
  • Matthew J. BudoffEmail author
Original Paper


Coronary artery calcium (CAC) scoring is used in asymptomatic patients to improve their clinically predicted risk for future cardiovascular events. Current CT protocols seek to reduce radiation exposure without diminishing image quality. Reported radiation exposure remains widely variable (0.8–5 mSv) depending on the type of protocol. In this study, we report the radiation exposure of CAC scoring from the Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication (SHAPE) early detection program cohort sites, which spanned multiple centers using 64-MDCT (multi-detector computed tomography) scanners. We reviewed radiation exposure in milliSieverts (mSv) for 82,214 participants from the SHAPE early detection program cohort who underwent CAC scoring. This occurred over a 2.5-year period (2012–2014) divided among 33 sites in 7 countries with four different types 64-MDCT scanners. The effective radiation dose was reported as mSv. Mean radiation dosing amongst all 82,214 participants was 1.03 mSv, a median dose of 0.94 mSv. The mean radiation dose ranged from 0.76 to 1.31 mSv across the 33 sites involved with the SHAPE program cohort. Subgroup analysis by age, gender or body mass index (BMI) less than 30 kg/m2 showed no variability. Radiation dose in patients with BMI > 30 kg/m2 were significantly greater than other subgroups (µ = 1.96 mSv, p < 0.001). The use of 64-MDCT scanners and protocols provide the effective radiation dose for CAC scoring, which is approximately 1 mSv. This is consistently lower than previously reported for CAC scanning, regardless of scanner type, age or gender. In contrast, a greater BMI influenced mean radiation doses.


Coronary artery calcium Radiation Cardiac computed tomography 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Matthew Budoff has received research grants from General Electric. No other author has conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Research involving human and animal rights

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amish A. Patel
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jeffrey Fine
    • 2
  • Morteza Naghavi
    • 2
  • Matthew J. Budoff
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of CardiologyLos Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical CenterTorranceUSA
  2. 2.Society for Heart Attack Prevention and Eradication ProgramPalo AltoUSA
  3. 3.Riverside School of Medicine Department of Cardiovascular MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaRiversideUSA

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