Incidentally detected atherosclerosis in the abdominal aorta or its major branches on computed tomography is highly associated with coronary heart disease in asymptomatic adults.
J Cardiovasc Comput Tomogr. 2018 Jul - Aug;12(4):305-311. doi: 10.1016/j.jcct.2018.03.001. Epub 2018 Mar 15. Suh B1, Song YS2, Shin DW3, Lim J2, Kim H4, Min SH5, Lee SP6, Park EA2, Lee W2, Lee H7, Park JH7, Cho B7.
BACKGROUND: Atherosclerotic lesions in the abdominal aorta or its major branches are often incidentally detected on abdominal CT. However, clinical implications and optimal subsequent management are mostly left undetermined.
METHODS: Consecutive, asymptomatic adults (age≥30) who underwent both abdominal CT and coronary computed tomography angiography as part of a self-referred health check-up were investigated (n = 1494).
RESULTS: Adjusted for cardiovascular risk factors, abdominal atherosclerotic lesions with stenosis<25% were associated with significant coronary stenosis, especially in the abdominal aorta (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 3.37, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.99-11.45) and any common iliac artery (aOR 2.99, 95% CI 1.43-6.26). The association was higher in atherosclerotic lesions with stenosis≥25%, respectively (aOR 16.39, 95% CI 4.00-67.11; aOR 7.32, 95% CI 2.84-18.86). Furthermore, any major abdominal artery stenosis added predictive value to significant coronary stenosis (area under the receiver operating curve: 0.7598 vs. 0.8019, P < 0.001). The extent of arterial territory involvement was associated with the presence of significant coronary stenoses (P for trend <0.001).
CONCLUSION: Stenotic atherosclerotic lesions in the abdominal aorta or its major branches incidentally detected on abdominal CT are relatively prevalent and carry high risk for asymptomatic coronary arterial disease.