(HealthDay News) – Diagonal ear lobe crease (DELC) is independently and significantly associated with the prevalence, extent, and severity of coronary artery disease (CAD), according to a study published in the May 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.
Haim Shmilovich, MD, of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted a study involving 430 consecutive patients with no history of coronary artery intervention who underwent computed tomography (CT) angiography on a dual-source scanner to identify signs of CAD. The association between DELC and four measures of CAD was assessed: any CAD, significant CAD, multivessel disease (cutoff, ≥2), and number of segments with plaque (cutoff, ≥3).
The researchers identified DELC in 71% of participants, and CAD and significant CAD were found in 71% and 17%, respectively. DELC was a significant predictor of the four measurements of CAD, after adjusting for potential confounders (odds ratio, 1.8–3.3). The sensitivity of DELC to detect any CAD was 78%, specificity was 43%, and positive and negative predictive values were 77% and 45%, respectively. Overall, test accuracy was 67% and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 61%.
“By using the robustly validated power of CT angiography to identify CAD in terms of extent of disease and degree of stenosis, this is the first study to report that DELC is associated not only with the presence of CAD but also with its extent and severity,” the authors write.