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Int J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2013 Jun;29(5):1149-58. doi: 10.1007/s10554-013-0181-2. Epub 2013 Jan 29.

Association of inflammatory markers with the morphology and extent of coronary plaque as evaluated by 64-slice multidetector computed tomography in patients with stable coronary artery disease.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Chubu Rosai Hospital, 10-6, 1-Chome Komei-cho, Minato-ku, Nagoya 455-8530, Japan.


We evaluated the association between inflammatory markers and coronary artery plaque assessed by 64-slice multidetector computed tomography. Coronary computed tomography angiography was performed in patients with chest discomfort suggestive of coronary artery disease (CAD). Individuals with an acute coronary syndrome were excluded from the study. Coronary plaque morphology, the number of artery segments exhibiting plaque, and the number of vessels with >50% stenosis were evaluated. Plasma levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, and vascular endothelial growth factor were measured. Among the 178 patients studied (age 65 ± 10 years; 70% men), 125 were diagnosed with CAD. Hs-CRP and IL-6 concentrations were significantly higher in patients with CAD than in patients without (2.73 ± 4.7 vs. 1.32 ± 2.6 mg/L, P = 0.018, and 3.06 ± 3.3 vs. 2.19 ± 2.4 pg/mL, P = 0.036). The IL-6 level was high in patients with predominantly calcified plaque, and was significantly higher in patients with 4-9 plaque segments than in those with no or 1-3 plaque segments (4.07 ± 5.3 vs. 2.19 ± 2.4 pg/mL and 2.43 ± 2.0 pg/mL, respectively, P = 0.025). The number of stenotic vessels was not significantly related to inflammatory markers. Multivariate logistic analysis revealed that plasma levels of hs-CRP but not IL-6 were associated with the presence of coronary plaque with calcification (OR 3.37, P = 0.026). This study supports the usefulness of inflammatory markers for the evaluation of coronary plaque in patients with stable CAD.

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