Non-calcified arterial plaque is associated with diabetes, high systolic blood pressure and elevated 'bad' cholesterol levels in asymptomatic individuals, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death in men and women worldwide, accounting for 17 million deaths annually. Current treatment strategies focus on cardiovascular risk and serum cholesterol levels rather than direct assessment of extent of disease in the coronary arteries.
These images are of a 62-year-old man. Left: coronary segmentation model of the coronary tree. Middle: a curved multiplanar reconstruction of the left anterior descending artery, with the lumen and external vessel walls marked. Right: representative cross-sectional images, with green shading is noncalcified plaque.
Image courtesy of the Radiological Society of North America
Plaque that forms in the arterial walls can restrict blood flow and, in some cases, rupture, leading to potentially fatal heart attacks. There is considerable evidence that calcified, or stable, plaque is less prone to rupture than non-calcified, or soft, plaque.
Intravascular ultrasound can quantify non-calcified and calcified coronary artery plaque, but it is invasive and unsuitable for screening purposes. Coronary artery calcium (CAC) scoring with CT, a common noninvasive option, measures how much calcified plaque a person has, but it doesn't measure non-calcified plaque, and that's the component that tends to be dangerous.
Despite treatment for hypercholesterolemia (high levels of cholesterol in the blood), CAC scores often paradoxically increase. Thus, researchers have searched for other plaque measures that can identify treatment response.
'Most information to date about coronary artery disease and cardiovascular risk factors in asymptomatic individuals has been derived from calcium scoring,' said the study's lead author, David A. Bluemke, M.D., Ph.D., from the NIH Clinical Center. 'We hypothesized that risk factors for the presence of non-calcified plaque may differ from those for calcified plaque.'
Coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) has emerged as a viable screening option for plaque, including non-calcified plaque. CCTA can capture the full anatomic map of the coronary arteries in a single heartbeat with low radiation dose and provide a complete picture of the total amount of plaque throughout the arteries of the heart.
For the study, Dr. Bluemke and colleagues used CCTA to assess the relationship between calcified and non-calcified coronary plaque burden in the coronary arteries and cardiovascular risk factors in low- to moderate-risk asymptomatic individuals.
The researchers recruited 202 asymptomatic men and women over age 55 who were eligible for statin therapy. CCTA was performed using a 320-detector row CT scanner and an intravenous contrast agent. Coronary wall thickness/plaque was evaluated, and analysis was performed to determine the relationship between risk factors and plaque.
Controlling for all risk factors, total coronary plaque index was greater in men than in women. Non-calcified plaque index was significantly associated with greater systolic blood pressure, diabetes, and elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level.
'These results highlight the potential of CCTA in quantifying plaque burden to assess progression or regression of coronary artery disease in low to moderate risk individuals,' Dr. Bluemke said.
'Coronary plaque burden at coronary CT angiography in asymptomatic men and women.' Collaborating with Dr. Bluemke were Karen Rodriguez, B.A., Alan C. Kwan, B.A., Shenghan Lai, M.D., João A. C. Lima, M.D., Davis Vigneault, B.S., Veit Sandfort, M.D., Puskar Pattanayak, M.D., Mark A. Ahlman, M.D., Marissa Mallek, R.N., and Christopher T. Sibley, M.D.
Radiology is edited by Herbert Y. Kressel, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass., and owned and published by the Radiological Society of North America, Inc.
RSNA is an association of more than 54,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists promoting excellence in patient care and health care delivery through education, research and technologic innovation. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (RSNA.org).
For patient-friendly information on CCTA, visit Radiology Info.
Linda Brooks | EurekAlert!
Scientists learn more about how gene linked to autism affects brain
19.06.2018 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Overdosing on Calcium
19.06.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences
20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences