Coronary CT Angiography Can Detect Soft Coronary Plaque In Asymptomatic Patients

David A. Bluemke, MD, PhD, MsB, FAHA, FACR Director Radiology and Imaging Sciences Senior Investigator, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Adjunct Investigator,  NLBI, NIDDKMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
David A. Bluemke, MD, PhD, MsB, FAHA, FACR
Director Radiology and Imaging Sciences
Senior Investigator,
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering
Adjunct Investigator,  NLBI, NIDDK

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Bluemke: Most knowledge about the extent of coronary disease is from high risk patients who have coronary angiograms. Yet most individuals are symptomatic and have lower cardiovascular risk, and would not undergo a coronary angiogram.

Coronary CT angiography can be used to evaluate the extent of plaque in low or moderate risk individuals. The most concerning type of plaque is “soft plaque”, which can increase or rupture over time.

Using coronary CT, all coronary plaque throughout the entire heart was measured. Importantly, the amount of soft plaque was uniquely associated with risk factors such as LDL, diabetes, and hypertension.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Bluemke: Calcium scores provide a measure of risk, but all coronary plaque can now be assessed nearly as rapidly, while displaying a full picture of the coronary plaque. Non calcified plaque extent is closely tied to risk factors, and is the component of plaque that can rupture or can be treated.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Bluemke: An important issue is the extent to which soft plaque changes over time. In particular, if a patient is treated for many years with statins, effective treatment is expected to be associated with less soft plaque. Studies to assess these effects are underway.

Citation:

Karen Rodriguez, Alan C. Kwan, Shenghan Lai, João A. C. Lima, Davis Vigneault, Veit Sandfort, Puskar Pattanayak, Mark A. Ahlman, Marissa Mallek, Christopher T. Sibley, David A. Bluemke. Coronary Plaque Burden at Coronary CT Angiography in Asymptomatic Men and Women. Radiology, 2015; 142551 DOI: 10.1148/radiol.2015142551

 

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: David A. Bluemke, MD, PhD, MsB, FAHA, FACR Director Radiology and Imaging Sciences, Senior Investigator,, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, & Adjunct Investigator, NLBI, NIDDK (2015). Coronary CT Angiography Can Detect Soft Coronary Plaque In Asymptomatic Patients MedicalResearch.com