Asymptomatic subjects with zero coronary calcium score: coronary CT angiographic features of plaques in event-prone patients.Int J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2013 Jun; 29 Suppl 1:29-36.IJ
The aims of this study were: (a) to assess clinical predictors and coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) characteristics of noncalcified coronary plaques (NCP) in subjects who had cardiac events despite a zero coronary artery calcium score (CACS), and (b) to describe computed tomography (CT) plaque characteristics in subjects with cardiac events. A total of 7,961 subjects with zero CACS were evaluated; 6,531 subjects underwent CCTA as part of a health check-up. Those who had zero CACS were included in our mid-term follow-up study. Cardiac events included cardiac death, acute coronary syndrome or revascularization with stable angina. More than one NCP was identified in 441 subjects with zero CACS, including 48 subjects with obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) caused by NCPs. Age, male gender, hypertension, diabetes and low density lipoprotein were independent predictors of obstructive CAD. Among subjects with obstructive CAD, young adults were classified into low (79.2 %) or moderate (72.9 %) risk groups by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction III guidelines. Approximately 0.2 % of subjects had cardiac events during our follow-up period. All patients with cardiac events had NCPs with significantly lower mean CT numbers, higher remodeling indexes and worse degree of stenosis. In asymptomatic subjects with zero CACS, NCP was associated with cardiac events. CCTA might be useful for risk stratification among select populations with CAD and zero CACS who have certain plaque characteristics associated with cardiac events.