PURPOSE: To compare underlying calcific atherosclerotic lesions in acute versus chronic coronary events in patients with hypertension by using dual-sector spiral computed tomography (CT). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Eight hundred eighty-four calcific lesions were analyzed in a cohort of 50 patients (39 men, 11 women; age range, 55-79 years; mean age, 66 years ± 6 [SD]) with hypertension who sustained a coronary event during 3-year follow-up. All underwent dual-sector spiral CT within 12 months before the event. Twenty-nine patients had an acute event (acute group): acute myocardial infarction, 20; unstable angina pectoris, six; acute ischemia, two; sudden death, one. Twenty-one patients had chronic manifestations of obstructive coronary disease (chronic group): severe stable angina, five; angiographically identified disease, 12; disease requiring angioplasty, two; and disease requiring bypass surgery, two. To examine differences between the two study groups, the X2 or Fisher exact test was applied to categorical parameters and the two-sample t test or Wilcoxon rank sum test to quantitative parameters. RESULTS: High prevalence of coronary calcium (total coronary calcium score [TCS] >0) was observed in both groups: 93% (27 of 29) in the acute and 95% (20 of 21) in the chronic group. There were 518 lesions in the chronic and 366 in the acute group, with a median number of 35 and nine lesions per patient, respectively (P < .001). The median TCS was 906 for the chronic and 63 for the acute group (P < .01). CONCLUSION: A mild degree of calcification characterizes patients with acute coronary events, while diffuse high-attenuation calcific plaques are associated with chronic coronary events.
- Coronary vessels, CT
- Coronary vessels, calcification
- Coronary vessels, diseases
- Heart, diseases