Aims: There is a lack of a reliable technique to quantify coronary artery calcification (CAC). Hence, we used optical coherence tomography (OCT) to quantitate three-dimensional CAC volume to examine its association with plaque characteristics. Methods and results: A total of 250 patients with stable angina undergoing OCT imaging before PCI were included. CAC volume was calculated from every frame of the culprit lesion and divided into tertiles (low, intermediate and high). Quantitative calcium characteristics were assessed in 107 patients who underwent both OCT and IVUS. Increase in CAC volume was associated with reduced lipid volume index, lipid length and number of lipid plaques. Diabetes and LDL cholesterol predicted less coronary calcification whereas age and prior MI predicted increased CAC after adjusting for all clinical factors. Lipid volume index (ρ=-0.001 [-0.003 to -0.00003]; p=0.04) and mean calcium depth (ρ=-0.02 [-0.02 to -0.01]; p=0.000) were inversely related to CAC volume after adjusting for all OCT characteristics, whereas cap thickness increased with increase in CAC volume (ρ=0.01 [0.002-0.03]; p=0.02) only in unadjusted analysis. Regression analysis demonstrated a significant correlation between calcium length (ρ=0.83; p<0.001) and calcium arc (ρ=0.86; p<0.001) measured by IVUS and OCT. Conclusions: Target lesions with high CAC volume are characterised by reduced plaque lipid content and calcium closer to the luminal border. Fibrous cap thickness increased with increase in calcium volume.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine