Atherosclerotic Plaque Characteristics by CT Angiography Identify Coronary Lesions That Cause Ischemia: A Direct Comparison to Fractional Flow Reserve

OBJECTIVES: This study evaluated the association between atherosclerotic plaque characteristics (APCs) by coronary computed tomographic angiography (CTA), and lesion ischemia by fractional flow reserve (FFR). FFR is the gold standard for determining lesion ischemia. Although APCs by CTA-including aggregate plaque volume % (%APV), positive remodeling (PR), low attenuation plaque (LAP), and spotty calcification (SC)-are associated with future coronary syndromes, their relationship to lesion ischemia is unclear.

METHODS: 252 patients (17 centers, 5 countries; mean age 63 years; 71% males) underwent coronary CTA, with FFR performed for 407 coronary lesions. Coronary CTA was interpreted for <50% and ≥50% stenosis, with the latter considered obstructive. APCs by coronary CTA were defined as: 1) PR, lesion diameter/reference diameter >1.10; 2) LAP, any voxel <30 Hounsfield units; and 3) SC, nodular calcified plaque <3 mm. Odds ratios (OR) and net reclassification improvement of APCs for lesion ischemia, defined by FFR ≤0.8, were analyzed.

RESULTS: By FFR, ischemia was present in 151 lesions (37%). %APV was associated with a 50% increased risk of ischemia per 5% additional APV. PR, LAP, and SC were associated with ischemia, with a 3 to 5 times higher prevalence than in nonischemic lesions. In multivariable analyses, a stepwise increased risk of ischemia was observed for 1 (OR: 4.0, p < 0.001) and ≥2 (OR: 12.1, p < 0.001) APCs. These findings were APC dependent, with PR (OR: 5.3, p < 0.001) and LAP (OR: 2.1, p = 0.038) associated with ischemia, but not SC. When examined by stenosis severity, PR remained a predictor of ischemia for all lesions, whereas %APV and LAP were associated with ischemia for only ≥50%, but not for <50%, stenosis.

CONCLUSIONS: %APV and APCs by coronary CTA improve identification of coronary lesions that cause ischemia. PR is associated with allischemia-causing lesions, whereas %APV and LAP are only associated with ischemia-causing lesions ≥50%. Patrick Omameh Jersey

PMID: 25592691

Posted in Computed Tomography, Invasive Imaging and tagged , , , .

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