Identification of Noncalcified Plaque in Young Persons with Diabetes: An Opportunity for Early Primary Prevention of Coronary Artery Disease Identified with Low-dose Coronary Computed Tomographic Angiography
Academic Radiology, 06/26/2012
Madaj PM et al. – The study verifies that early coronary artery disease (CAD) can be diagnosed with coronary computed tomographic angiography (CTA) and minimal radiation exposure in young adults with diabetes mellitus (DM). A negative CAC score was not sufficient to exclude early coronary artery disease (CAD) as the authors observed a preponderance of noncalcified plaque in this cohort. Coronary CTA in young DM patients older than age 25 may provide earlier identification of disease than does a coronary artery calcium (CAC) because only noncalcified plaque is frequently present. Coronary CTA provides an opportunity to consider initiation of earlier primary CAD prevention rather than waiting for the age of 40 as currently recommended by the American Diabetes Association guidelines.Methods
- The authors prospectively enrolled 40 persons with DM (25 type 1 and 15 type 2) between the ages of 19 and 35 presenting with diabetes for 5 years or longer.
- All patients underwent coronary CTA and CAC scans to evaluate for early atherosclerotic disease. Each plaque in the coronary artery was classified as noncalcified or calcified–mixed.
- The authors also evaluated all segments with stenosis, dividing them into mild (<50%), moderate (50–70%), and severe (>70%).
- The average age of the DM1 subjects were 26 ± 4 (SD) years and 30 ± 4 years for DM2 patients (P < .01), with duration of diabetes of 8 ± 5 years and average HbA1c% of 8.7 ± 1.6 (norm = 4.6–6.2).
- Abnormal scans were present in 57.5%, noncalcified in 35% and calcified–mixed plaque in 22.5%. Persons with DM2 had a higher prevalence of positive coronary CTA scans than DM1: 80% versus 44% (P < .03) and more positive CAC scores 53% versus 4%, (P < .01).
- The total segment score of 2.1 ± 3.4 (P < .01) and total plaque score 1.9 ± 2.8 (P < .01) were highly correlated to each other. Plaque was almost uniformly absent below age 25, and became increasingly common in individuals over the age of 25 years for both groups.
- The average radiation exposure was 2.5 ± 1.3 mSv.