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Radiology

Association between C-reactive Protein and type of coronary arterial plaque in asymptomatic patients: assessment with coronary CT angiography.


PMID 24697147

Abstract

To determine whether C-reactive protein is associated with the type of coronary plaque seen at computed tomographic (CT) angiography. The institutional review board approved this retrospective study, and the need for informed consent was waived. C-reactive protein levels were measured in 2653 asymptomatic subjects (mean age ± standard deviation, 54.7 years ± 9.2; 1811 men) who underwent self-referred coronary CT angiography as part of a general health checkup. The presence of coronary plaque, plaque type (calcified, mixed calcified, or noncalcified), stenosis degree, and number of involved segments were evaluated. Subjects with one type of plaque (calcified plaque, mixed plaque, and noncalcified plaque groups) and two or more types of plaque (multiple lesions group) were analyzed separately. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the association between increasing C-reactive protein levels and plaque type. Coronary plaque was found in 1150 of the 2653 subjects (43.3%): calcified plaque (n = 604, 22.8%), mixed plaque (n = 67, 2.5%), noncalcified plaque (n = 208, 7.8%), and multiple lesions (n = 271, 10.2%). The C-reactive protein cutoff value of the fourth quartile was 1.2 mg/L (11.4 nmol/L), and all types of coronary plaque were increased in the higher quartile of the C-reactive protein levels. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that a higher C-reactive protein level was an independent predictor for the presence of noncalcified plaque (fourth vs first quartile group, odds ratio = 1.70, P = .025) and significant (50% and higher) coronary stenosis (odds ratio = 1.76, P = .020) after adjustment for traditional risk factors for coronary artery disease. C-reactive protein is associated with noncalcified coronary arterial plaque, as seen at coronary CT angiography in asymptomatic patients after adjustment for traditional risk factors.

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