Author + information
- Received July 18, 2007
- Revision received April 7, 2008
- Accepted April 15, 2008
- Published online July 15, 2008.
- Maureen M. Henneman, MD⁎,
- Joanne D. Schuijf, PhD⁎,†,
- Gabija Pundziute, MD⁎,
- Jacob M. van Werkhoven, MSc⁎,
- Ernst E. van der Wall, MD, PhD⁎,†,
- J. Wouter Jukema, MD, PhD⁎,† and
- Jeroen J. Bax, MD, PhD⁎,⁎ ()
- ↵⁎Reprint requests and correspondence:
Dr. Jeroen J. Bax, Department of Cardiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Albinusdreef 2, 2333 ZA Leiden, the Netherlands.
Objectives Our aim was to evaluate the atherosclerotic plaque burden and morphology as determined by 64-slice multislice computed tomography (MSCT) coronary angiography in relation to the calcium score in patients presenting with suspected acute coronary syndrome (ACS).
Background The absence of coronary calcium during coronary calcium scoring has been proposed to rule out significant coronary artery disease (CAD). However, data in patients presenting with suspected ACS are scarce.
Methods In 40 patients (age 57 ± 11 years, 26 men) presenting with suspected ACS, MSCT coronary angiography in combination with coronary calcium scoring was performed before conventional coronary angiography. MSCT angiograms were evaluated for the presence or absence of coronary atherosclerotic plaque and the presence or absence of obstructive (≥50% luminal narrowing) CAD. In addition, plaque type was determined, and findings were related to the calcium score.
Results Coronary artery disease was observed in 38 patients, of whom 10 patients had nonobstructive and 28 patients had obstructive CAD, confirmed by conventional coronary angiography in all patients. In patients with CAD, plaques were distributed as follows: 39% noncalcified plaques, 47% mixed plaques, and 14% calcified plaques. Coronary calcium was detected in 27 patients, of whom 10 had a score >400. In 13 (33%) patients, no coronary calcium was observed, but in 11 (85%), atherosclerotic plaques were detected on MSCT angiography.
Conclusions In patients presenting with suspected ACS, noncalcified plaques are highly prevalent and the absence of coronary calcium does not reliably exclude the presence of (significant) atherosclerosis. This information may be of value to improve our understanding of the potential role of MSCT in this patient population.
This work was financially supported by the Netherlands Heart Foundation, The Hague, the Netherlands, grant 2002B105. Dr. Pundziute is financially supported by the training fellowship grant of the European Society of Cardiology, Huygens scholarship, and Toshiba Medical Systems Europe.
Dr. Bax has research grants from GE Healthcare and BMS Medical Imaging. Steven E. Nissen, MD, MACC, served as Guest Editor for this article
- Received July 18, 2007.
- Revision received April 7, 2008.
- Accepted April 15, 2008.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation