Computed tomography angiography (CTA) is commonly employed for exclusion of coronary artery disease and demonstration of the extent of coronary vascular involvement. It has been recently proposed that coronary artery plaques could be visualized noninvasively. This review article focused on the high risk plaque detected by CTA. Plaque characteristics of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) was compared to sable angina pectoris (SAP). The presence of positive remodeling (ACS 87 %, SAP 12 %, p < 0. 0001), low attenuation plaque (LAP) (ACS 79 %, SAP 9 %, p < 0. 0001), and spotty calcification (ACS 63 %, SAP 21 %, p = 0. 0005) were significantly more frequent in the culprit ACS lesions. Furthermore, in asymptomatic patients, presence of positively remodeling and LAP portends a greater risk for development of acute coronary events (hazard ratio = 22. 8, CI = 6. 9-75. 2, p < 0. 001). Possibility of drug intervention to high risk plaque was also reported. Serial CTA assessment allows for evaluation of interval change in morphological plaque characteristics and can be employed for assessment of efficacy of therapeutic intervention. Use of statin results in substantial reduction in LAP volume (follow-up: 4. 9 ± 7. 8 versus baseline: 1. 3 ± 2. 3 mm3, p = 0. 02) forwards stabilization of plaques. Although not recommended currently as a population-based strategy, CT angiographic examination may help identify very high risk asymptomatic subjects.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine