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Kardiol Pol. 2013;71(11):1121-8. doi: 10.5603/KP.a2013.0292.

Coronary artery tortuosity: comparison with retinal arteries and carotid intima-media thickness.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Gaziantep University, School of Medicine, Gaziantep, Turkey. vedatdavutoglu@gmail.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIM:

We conducted a prospective study to investigate the possible relationship between the tortuosity of coronary arteries (TCA) and carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT), and also compare TCA to retinal artery tortuosity.

METHODS:

One hundred and five participants with nonsignificant coronary plaque or normal coronary angiogram were included. To determine subclinical atherosclerosis, maximum CIMT was measured. Retinal tortuosity was evaluated ophthalmically.

RESULTS:

Among all demographic variables and risk factors, only female gender and height were significantly associated with TCA (p = 0.001, p = 0.01, respectively). Retinal artery tortuosity and retinal artery atherosclerosis were more common inpatients with TCA compared to patients without TCA (p < 0.001, R = 0.6; p = 0.002, R = 0.4, respectively). CIMT was greater in participants with TCA than patients without TCA (p = 0.001), and also the presence of carotid artery plaque was more common in patients with TCA (p < 0.001). There was a significant correlation between the presence of subclinical atherosclerosis and TCA (p = 0.005, R = 0.3). Likewise, a significant correlation was found between subclinical atherosclerosis and retinal artery tortuosity (p = 0.02, R = 0.3). Multivariate analysis identified female gender (p < 0.008), retinal arterytortuosity (p < 0.001), and CIMT (p = 0.02) as independent predictors of TCA.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results indicate that, whatever the mechanism is: 1) TCA is associated with female gender and short stature; 2) TCA is associated with subclinical atherosclerosis even in patients with entirely normal appearing coronary arteries on coronary angiography; 3) Retinal artery tortuosity is correlated with TCA and can be a surrogate for systemic arterial tortuosity.

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