Comparison of Coronary Atherosclerotic Plaque Burden and Composition as Assessed on Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography in East Asian and European-Origin Caucasians

Abdul Rahman Ihdayhid, Markus Goeller, Damini Dey, Nitesh Nerlekar, Grace Yap, Udit Thakur, Daniel Adams, James Cameron, Sujith Seneviratne, Stephan Achenbach, Brian Ko

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Recent evidence suggests plaque morphology evaluated on coronary computed tomography angiography has prognostic implications. East Asians have a lower prevalence of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular mortality compared with European-origin Caucasians. We aimed to compare coronary atherosclerotic burden and plaque composition in a matched cohort of Caucasian and East Asians patients with stable chest pain who underwent computed tomography angiography. Two-hundred symptomatic patients (age 58.8 ± 7.9, male 51%) were matched for age, gender, body mass index, and diabetes (100 each ethnic group). A blinded core-laboratory quantified calcified and noncalcified plaque (NCP) volume and burden. Components of NCP were differentiated by plaque hounsfield unit (HU) thresholds which defined high-risk necrotic core (−30 to 30HU), fibrofatty plaque (31 to 130HU); and low-risk fibrous plaque (131 to 350HU). Composition of NCP components was derived as (NCP component volume/total NCP volume) × 100%. Segment Involvement Score, percent diameter and area stenosis were comparable in both groups. Similarly, there was no difference in the volume and burden of total, calcified and NCP. Compared with Caucasians, East Asians demonstrated lower composition of plaque attenuation corresponding to necrotic core (3.5 vs 5.1%; p = 0.004) and fibrofatty plaque (29.6 vs 37.3%; p = 0.005), and higher fibrous plaque (65.7 vs 57.6%; p = 0.004). On multivariable analysis East Asian ethnicity was independently associated with lower composition of high-risk plaque after adjustment for risk factors and scan parameters. These findings were consistent in a propensity-matched sensitivity-analysis. In conclusion, based on this matched cohort, East Asian ethnicity is associated with significantly less composition of high-risk NCP (necrotic core and fibrofatty plaque) and a higher composition of low-risk fibrous plaque compared with Caucasians; which may confer a lower risk of cardiovascular events.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1012-1019
Number of pages8
JournalThe American Journal of Cardiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

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