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Frequency of coronary artery stenosis in patients with asymptomatic familial hypercholesterolemia and its association with carotid intimal thickness and cardio-ankle vascular index

Authors Suzuki M, Takahashi M, Iizuka T, Terada H, Noike H, Shirai K

Received 4 December 2015

Accepted for publication 29 February 2016

Published 28 June 2016 Volume 2016:7 Pages 83—90


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Kones

Masayo Suzuki,1 Mao Takahashi,1 Takuo Iizuka,1 Hitoshi Terada,2 Hirohumi Noike,1 Kohji Shirai3

1Cardiovascular Center, Internal Medicine, 2Department of Radiology, 3Department of Vascular Function, Sakura Hospital, Medical Center, Toho University, Sakura City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan

Background: Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is associated with premature coronary arterial disease. We aimed to determine the incidence of coronary artery stenosis (CAS) in asymptomatic FH patients using coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA). To investigate the association between CAS and atherosclerosis of carotid arteries, we performed ultrasonography to measure the mean intima-media thickness (IMT), maximum IMT, and plaque score. We also aimed to examine the significance of the cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) and its association with the incidence of CAS in asymptomatic FH patients.
Patients and methods: We enrolled consecutively, 31 FH patients without symptoms of coronary artery disease. Based on the CCTA findings, we divided the patients into two groups, those with and without CAS, and compared various parameters and risk factors of the two groups.
Results: Of 31 FH patients, seven patients (22.6%) had CAS. The proportion of male patients and mean low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol level were higher in patients with CAS than in those without CAS (P<0.05). All carotid ultrasonography parameters (ie, mean IMT, maximum IMT, and plaque score) were significantly higher in patients with CAS than in those without CAS (P<0.01), whereas no significant difference was found in CAVI between the two groups.
Conclusion: CAS was identified in >22.6% of the asymptomatic FH patients. Patients with CAS tended to have enhanced levels of carotid plaque markers, but no increase was noted in CAVI. FH patients should be continuously monitored using CCTA and ultrasonography.

Keywords: CAVI, coronary artery stenosis, heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, CCTA, ultrasound evaluation of the carotid artery
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