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Circulation. 1995 Sep 15;92(6):1414-21.

Extracoronary atherosclerotic plaque at multiple sites and total coronary calcification deposit in asymptomatic men. Association with coronary risk profile.

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Centre de Médecine Préventive Cardiovasculaire, INSERM U 28, Hôpital Broussais, Paris, France.



Recent studies have suggested that knowledge of the extent of subclinical atherosclerosis may improve prognostic information in subjects at risk of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, we tested the value of extracoronary plaque detected with echography at multiple sites and that of total coronary calcification deposit evaluated with ultrafast computed tomography for predicting the risk of coronary events estimated on the basis of traditional risk factors.


We analyzed in 618 asymptomatic at-risk men the extent of extracoronary atherosclerosis, as assessed with ultrasound imaging of carotid, aortic, and femoral sites and coded as number of disease sites (none, one, two, or three) on the basis of the presence of plaque at each site, and the amount of total coronary calcification deposit, as evaluated with ultrafast computed tomography and coded as grade 0, 1, 2, or 3 on the basis of the determination of a total coronary calcium score. Concomitantly, age, systolic pressure, total and HDL cholesterol levels, current smoking, presence of diabetes, and presence of ECG left ventricular hypertrophy (ECG-LVH) were evaluated with the goal of estimating coronary risk with the use of the Framingham Study risk algorithm. The prevalence rates of at least one extracoronary disease site and coronary calcification (any grade) were high (72% and 63%). There was a strong association between the number of extracoronary disease sites and the grade of coronary calcification (P < .001). As the number of extracoronary disease sites increased, age, systolic pressure, smoking frequency, and number of risk factors increased (P < .001). As the grade of coronary calcification increased, age and systolic pressure increased (P < .001), as did the number of risk factors (P < .01). The estimated coronary risk increased with the number of extracoronary disease sites and the grade of coronary calcification (P < .001). The odds ratio of coronary risk between three and no extracoronary disease site was 2.37 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08 to 5.21), whereas that between grade 3 and grade 0 of coronary calcification was 1.79 (95% CI, 0.94 to 3.40).


In an apparently healthy population, the extracoronary atherosclerotic burden as measured with multiple-site echography appears to be more powerful than the ultrafast computed tomography-detected coronary calcium burden in reflecting the multifactorial coronary risk profile. However, only men were included in the present study, and the present findings cannot be extrapolated to women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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