Spotty calcification as a marker of accelerated progression of coronary atherosclerosis: insights from serial intravascular ultrasound Full Text
JACC - Journal of the American College of Cardiology,

Kataoka Y et al. – The presence of spotty calcification is associated with more extensive and diffuse coronary atherosclerosis and accelerated disease progression despite use of medical therapies.

Methods
  • A total of 1,347 stable patients with angiographic coronary artery disease underwent serial evaluation of atheroma burden with intravascular ultrasound imaging.
  • Patients with spotty calcification were identified based on the presence of lesions (1 to 4 mm in length) containing an arc of calcification of <90°.
  • Clinical characteristics and disease progression were compared between patients with spotty calcification (n = 922) and those with no calcification (n = 425).

Results
  • Patients with spotty calcification were older (age 56 years vs. 54 years; p = 0.001), more likely to be male (68% vs. 54%; p = 0.01), and have a history of diabetes mellitus (30% vs. 24%; p = 0.01) and myocardial infarction (28% vs. 20%; p = 0.004), and have lower on–treatment high–density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (48 ± 16 mg/dl vs. 51 ± 17 mg/dl; p = 0.001).
  • Patients with spotty calcification demonstrated a greater percent atheroma volume (PAV) (36.0 ± 7.6% vs. 29.0 ± 8.5%; p < 0.001) and total atheroma volume (174.6 ± 71.9 mm3 vs. 133.9 ± 64.9 mm3; p < 0.001).
  • On serial evaluation, spotty calcification was associated with greater progression of PAV (+0.43 ± 0.07% vs. +0.02 ± 0.11%; p = 0.002).
  • Although intensive low–density lipoprotein cholesterol and blood pressure lowering therapy slowed disease progression, these efficacies were attenuated in patients with spotty calcification.

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