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Clin Cardiol. 1986 Aug;9(8):388-90.

The ear lobe crease sign and coronary artery disease in aortic stenosis.


Ear lobe creases have been proposed as useful indirect markers of coronary artery disease. To test such a hypothesis, this physical sign was evaluated in 100 patients with symptomatic aortic stenosis undergoing cardiac catheterization to establish the hemodynamic severity of the obstruction and the degree of coronary artery involvement. This is a disorder where the coexistence of cardiac ischemia may play an important part in diagnosis and management. Criteria were established for the degree of ear lobe involvement with a grading of mild (Grade 1), moderate (Grade 2), and severe (Grade 3). Significant coronary artery disease was defined as narrowing greater than or equal to 50% and a coronary score was established. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were calculated, using Bayesian analysis for three levels of assumed coronary artery disease prevalence. An ear lobe crease score was correlated with a coronary artery disease score, taking into account the variables of age, sex, and body mass index. No useful statistical correlations were found and it is concluded that this physical sign is of little practical value in this clinical setting.

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