Beyond the Basics: Unraveling the Complexity of Coronary Artery Calcification

Satwat Hashmi, Pashmina Wiqar Shah, Zouhair Aherrahrou, Elena Aikawa, Rédouane Aherrahrou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Coronary artery calcification (CAC) is mainly associated with coronary atherosclerosis, which is an indicator of coronary artery disease (CAD). CAC refers to the accumulation of calcium phosphate deposits, classified as micro- or macrocalcifications, that lead to the hardening and narrowing of the coronary arteries. CAC is a strong predictor of future cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction and sudden death. Our narrative review focuses on the pathophysiology of CAC, exploring its link to plaque vulnerability, genetic factors, and how race and sex can affect the condition. We also examined the connection between the gut microbiome and CAC, and the impact of genetic variants on the cellular processes involved in vascular calcification and atherogenesis. We aimed to thoroughly analyze the existing literature to improve our understanding of CAC and its potential clinical and therapeutic implications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2822
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • atherosclerosis
  • coronary artery calcification
  • coronary artery disease
  • genetics
  • genome-wide association studies


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