Atherosclerotic plaque characteristics by CT angiography identify coronary lesions that cause ischemia: A direct comparison to fractional flow reserve

Hyung Bok Park, Ran Heo, Bríain Ó Hartaigh, Iksung Cho, Heidi Gransar, Ro Nakazato, Jonathon Leipsic, G. B.John Mancini, Bon Kwon Koo, Hiromasa Otake, Matthew J. Budoff, Daniel S. Berman, Andrejs Erglis, Hyuk Jae Chang, James K. Min

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249 Citations (Scopus)


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). BACKGROUND 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 all ischemia-causing lesions, whereas %APV and LAP are only associated with ischemia-causing lesions ≥50%. (Determination of Fractional Flow Reserve by Anatomic Computed Tomographic Angiography; NCT01233518).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJACC: Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by the American College of Cardiology Foundation.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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