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Am J Cardiol. 1992 Dec 1;70(18):1417-20.

Diagonal earlobe crease as a marker of the presence and extent of coronary atherosclerosis.

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Instituto do Coração, InCor, University of São Paulo, Brazil.


This study evaluates the association between the presence of diagonal earlobe creases (ELC) and coronary artery disease (CAD). One thousand four hundred twenty-four patients (760 men and 664 women, aged 30 to 80 years) were examined for the presence of ELC and classified into 2 groups: group I control--1,086 consecutive patients who denied symptoms of myocardial ischemia and were admitted to a general hospital for other reasons; group II CAD--338 patients with documented CAD (presence of > or = 70% coronary diameter stenosis at angiography). ELC was present in 304 patients (28%) in group I and 220 (65%) in group II (p < 0.0001). The patients were stratified in age groups to isolate the influence of age because the prevalence of ELC and CAD increased with advancing age (p < 0.0001 for both). This association remained statistically significant in all decades, except for patients aged > 70 years. To further remove the confounding effect of different age and sex distributions between the groups, a direct adjustment of the ELC prevalence was performed. When adjusted for age and sex, the prevalence of creases was still 58% higher in patients with CAD than in control subjects (p < 0.001). The presence of ELC was also related to the extent of CAD as measured by the number of major arteries narrowed (p = 0.015). The observed sensitivity of the sign for the diagnosis of CAD was 65%, the specificity 72%, the positive predictive value 42% and the negative predictive value 87%.

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