1,268 research outputs found

    A New Approach in Risk Stratification by Coronary CT Angiography.

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    For a decade, coronary computed tomographic angiography (CCTA) has been used as a promising noninvasive modality for the assessment of coronary artery disease (CAD) as well as cardiovascular risks. CCTA can provide more information incorporating the presence, extent, and severity of CAD; coronary plaque burden; and characteristics that highly correlate with those on invasive coronary angiography. Moreover, recent techniques of CCTA allow assessing hemodynamic significance of CAD. CCTA may be potentially used as a substitute for other invasive or noninvasive modalities. This review summarizes risk stratification by anatomical and hemodynamic information of CAD, coronary plaque characteristics, and burden observed on CCTA

    Coronary Calcium Remains an Effective Filter for Invasive Angiography

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    Coronary CT Angiography Again Results in Better Patient Outcomes

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    Biologics May Prevent Cardiovascular Events in Rheumatoid Arthritis by Inhibiting Coronary Plaque Formation and Stabilizing High-Risk Lesions.

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    ObjectiveTo evaluate whether biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) decrease cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and whether biologic DMARDs might have a beneficial effect on coronary plaque formation or progression.MethodsIn this single-center observational cohort study, 150 patients underwent computed tomographic angiography for evaluation of coronary atherosclerosis (total, noncalcified, mixed/calcified, and low-attenuation plaque); 101 had repeat assessments within a mean ± SD of 6.9 ± 0.3 years to evaluate plaque progression. All CVD events were prospectively recorded, including cardiac death, myocardial infarction, unstable angina, revascularization, stroke, claudication, and hospitalization for heart failure. The Framingham-D'Agostino score was used to assess cardiovascular risk. The segment stenosis score was used to measure plaque burden. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated.ResultsAfter adjustment for the segment stenosis score, the Framingham-D'Agostino score, and time-varying Disease Activity Score in 28 joints using the C-reactive protein level using marginal structural models, current biologic DMARD use was associated with lower long-term CVD risk (OR 0.15 [95% CI 0.04-0.60]). Noncalcified and low-attenuation plaque presence moderated the effect of biologic DMARDs on CVD risk; specifically, biologic DMARD use was associated with lower CVD risk in patients with noncalcified or low-attenuation plaque at baseline (OR 0.21 [95% CI 0.04-0.99] and OR 0.08 [95% CI 0.01-0.70], respectively), but not in those without noncalcified or low-attenuation plaque. Per-segment plaque progression analyses showed that biologic DMARD exposure was associated with transition of noncalcified to mixed/calcified plaque (OR 4.00 [95% CI 1.05-15.32]). Biologic DMARD exposure predicted a lower likelihood of new plaque forming in segments without plaque among patients without mixed/calcified plaque in other coronary segments (OR 0.40 [95% CI 0.17-0.93]), but not among those with calcification. Biologic DMARD treatment also predicted low-attenuation plaque loss (P = 0.042).ConclusionOur findings indicate that in RA, biologic DMARD use is associated with reduced CVD risk, protective calcification of noncalcified lesions, and lower likelihood of new plaque formation in patients with early atherosclerosis

    Expert review on coronary calcium

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    While there is no doubt that high risk patients (those with >20% ten year risk of future cardiovascular event) need more aggressive preventive therapy, a majority of cardiovascular events occur in individuals at intermediate risk (10%–20% ten year risk). Accurate risk assessment may be helpful in decreasing cardiovascular events through more appropriate targeting of preventive measures. It has been suggested that traditional risk assessment may be refined with the selective use of coronary artery calcium (CAC) or other methods of subclinical atherosclerosis measurement. Coronary calcification is a marker of atherosclerosis that can be quantified with the use of cardiac CT and it is proportional to the extent and severity of atherosclerotic disease. The published studies demonstrate a high sensitivity of CAC for the presence of coronary artery disease but a lower specificity for obstructive CAD depending on the magnitude of the CAC. Several large clinical trials found clear, incremental predictive value of CAC over the Framingham risk score when used in asymptomatic patients. Based on multiple observational studies, patients with increased plaque burdens (increased CAC) are approximately ten times more likely to suffer a cardiac event over the next 3–5 years. Coronary calcium scores have outperformed conventional risk factors, highly sensitive C-reactive protein (CRP) and carotid intima media thickness (IMT) as a predictor of cardiovascular events. The relevant prognostic information obtained may be useful to initiate or intensify appropriate treatment strategies to slow the progression of atherosclerotic vascular disease. Current data suggests intermediate risk patients may benefit most from further risk stratification with cardiac CT, as CAC testing is effective at identifying increased risk and in motivating effective behavioral changes. This article reviews information pertaining to the clinical use of CAC for assessing coronary atherosclerosis as a useful predictor of coronary artery disease (CAD) in certain population of patients

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    Mild and moderate pre-dialysis chronic kidney disease is associated with increased coronary artery calcium.

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    BackgroundIt is increasingly evident that patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are more likely to die from heart disease than kidney failure. This study evaluated whether pre- dialysis CKD is an independent risk factor for coronary artery calcium (CAC).MethodsA total of 544 consecutive patients who underwent CAC scoring were analyzed. Eleven patients requiring hemodialysis were excluded. Patients were divided into three groups: normal glomerular filtration rate (GFR) (GFR > 90 mL/min/1.73 m²), mild CKD (90 ≥ GFR > 60 mL/min/1.73 m²), and moderate CKD (60 ≥ GFR > 30 mL/min/1.73 m²). Continuous and categorical variables were compared using analysis of variance and the χ² statistic. A multiple logistic regression model was used for detecting the association between total CAC score and GFR. An unadjusted model was used, followed by a second model adjusted for covariates known to be related to CAC. Another multivariable binary logistic model predicting the presence of CAC (>10) was performed and odds of incidence of CAC (>10) were calculated among the three GFR subgroups.ResultsAfter adjustment for covariates, patients with mild CKD had mean CAC scores 175 points higher than those with the referent normal GFR (P = 0.048), while those with moderate CKD had mean CAC scores 693 points higher than the referent (P < 0.001). After adjustment for covariates, patients with mild CKD were found to be 2.2 times more likely (95% confidence interval 1.3-3.7, P = 0.004) and patients with moderate CKD were 6.4 times more likely (95% confidence interval 2.9-14.3, P < 0.001) to have incident CAC compared with the group with normal GFR.ConclusionMild and moderate pre-dialysis CKD are independent risk factors for increased mean and incident CAC
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