MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
David A. Bluemke, MD, PhD, MsB, FAHA, FACR
Director Radiology and Imaging Sciences
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.