Coronary Artery Disease

Predictors for CAD in Arteriosclerosis Patients Identified

Aortic and carotid plaque and aortic valve calcification (AVC) may be predictors for coronary artery disease (CAD) in patients with arteriosclerosis, according to a recent study.

The results of the study were presented on July 14, 2017, at the 22nd World Congress on Heart Disease in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

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Past research has suggested that carotid arteriosclerosis and CAD are associated. Additionally, the presence of aortic plaque may be related to generalized arteriosclerosis because it originates from the lower aorta.

The researchers evaluated participants using several measures. Carotid sclerosis was diagnosed via carotid ultrasonography. Aortic plaque was assessed with US and computed tomography (CT) grading, and CT was also used to assess aortic calcification. AVC was evaluated with echocardiography. Aortic stiffness was determined using the cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI).

Results showed that 74 patients had aortic plaque and 62 did not. Among patients with aortic plaque, a total of 46 (62.1%) patients had CAD. Among patients without plaque, a total of 6 (9.68%) had CAD. In patients with aortic calcification, 16.3% had CAD.

Further, the researchers found that aortic plaque grade by CT was associated with CAD, and that AVC and aortic plaque were independent predictors of CAD.

“Presence of both aortic and carotid plaque with aortic valve sclerosis could strongly suggest presence of CAD (sensitivity or specificity [higher than] 95%),” the researchers concluded.

—Christina Vogt


Tomaru T, Mastubara T, Mastubara E. Can presence of aortic plaque predict coronary heart disease? Cardiol. 2017;137(Suppl. 1):87. doi: 10.1159/issn.0008-6312.