Abdominal Aortic Atherosclerosis at MR Imaging Is Associated with Cardiovascular Events: The Dallas Heart Study

Departments of Radiology, Anesthesiology, Clinical Sciences, and Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology and the Donald W. Reynolds Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75390-8896.
Radiology (Impact Factor: 6.87). 06/2013; 269(1). DOI: 10.1148/radiol.13122707
Source: PubMed


To determine the value of two abdominal aortic atherosclerosis measurements at magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for predicting future cardiovascular events.

Materials and methods:
This study was approved by the institutional review board and complied with HIPAA regulations. The study consisted of 2122 participants from the multiethnic, population-based Dallas Heart Study who underwent abdominal aortic MR imaging at 1.5 T. Aortic atherosclerosis was measured by quantifying mean aortic wall thickness (MAWT) and aortic plaque burden. Participants were monitored for cardiovascular death, nonfatal cardiac events, and nonfatal extracardiac vascular events over a mean period of 7.8 years ± 1.5 (standard deviation [SD]). Cox proportional hazards regression was used to assess independent associations of aortic atherosclerosis and cardiovascular events.

Increasing MAWT was positively associated with male sex (odds ratio, 3.66; P < .0001), current smoking (odds ratio, 2.53; P < .0001), 10-year increase in age (odds ratio, 2.24; P < .0001), and hypertension (odds ratio, 1.66; P = .0001). A total of 143 participants (6.7%) experienced a cardiovascular event. MAWT conferred an increased risk for composite events (hazard ratio, 1.28 per 1 SD; P = .001). Aortic plaque was not associated with increased risk for composite events. Increasing MAWT and aortic plaque burden both conferred an increased risk for nonfatal extracardiac events (hazard ratio of 1.52 per 1 SD [P < .001] and hazard ratio of 1.46 per 1 SD [P = .03], respectively).

MR imaging measures of aortic atherosclerosis are predictive of future adverse cardiovascular events.

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    • "Nonfatal extra-cardiac vascular events include both nonfatal cerebrovascular events (nonfatal stroke, transient ischemic attack, cerebrovascular revascularization) and nonfatal peripheral vascular events (peripheral arterial revascularization and abdominal aortic aneurysm repair). Primary records were requested for all suspected cardiovascular events and these events were adjudicated separately by two cardiologists [22]. Subjects lost to follow-up (n = 210) were excluded from the analysis cohort. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) has been validated for the noninvasive assessment of total arterial compliance and aortic stiffness, but their associations with cardiovascular outcomes is unknown. The purpose of this study was to evaluate associations of CMR measures of total arterial compliance and two CMR measures of aortic stiffness with respect to future cardiovascular events. Methods The study consisted of 2122 Dallas Heart Study participants without cardiovascular disease who underwent CMR at 1.5 Tesla. Aortic stiffness was measured by CMR-derived ascending aortic distensibility and aortic arch pulse wave velocity. Total arterial compliance was calculated by dividing left ventricular stroke volume by pulse pressure. Participants were monitored for cardiovascular death, non-fatal cardiac events, and non-fatal extra-cardiac vascular events over 7.8 ± 1.5 years. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to assess for associations between CMR measures and cardiovascular events. Results Age, systolic blood pressure, and resting heart rate were independently associated with changes in ascending aortic distensibility, arch pulse wave velocity, and total arterial compliance (all p < .0001). A total of 153 participants (6.9%) experienced a cardiovascular event. After adjusting for traditional risk factors, total arterial compliance was modestly associated with increased risk for composite events (HR 1.07 per 1SD, p = 0.03) while the association between ascending aortic distensibility and composite events trended towards significance (HR 1.18 per 1SD, p = 0.08). Total arterial compliance and aortic distensibility were independently associated with nonfatal cardiac events (HR 1.11 per 1SD, p = 0.001 and HR 1.45 per 1SD, p = 0.0005, respectively), but not with cardiovascular death or nonfatal extra-cardiac vascular events. Arch pulse wave velocity was independently associated with nonfatal extra-cardiac vascular events (HR 1.18 per 1SD, p = 0.04) but not with cardiovascular death or nonfatal cardiac events. Conclusions In a multiethnic population free of cardiovascular disease, CMR measures of arterial stiffness are associated with future cardiovascular events. Total arterial compliance and aortic distensibility may be stronger predictors of nonfatal cardiac events, while pulse wave velocity may be a stronger predictor of nonfatal extra-cardiac vascular events.
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    ABSTRACT: To provide age- and sex-specific reference values for MRI-derived wall thickness of the ascending and descending aorta in the general population. Data of 753 subjects (311 females) aged 21-81 years were analysed. MRI was used to determine the aortic wall thickness (AWT). Equations for reference value calculation according to age were established for females and males. Median wall thickness of the ascending aorta was 1.46 mm (5th-95th range: 1.15-1.88 mm) for females and 1.56 mm (1.22-1.99 mm) for males. Median wall thickness of the descending aorta was 1.26 mm (0.97-1.58 mm) in females and 1.36 mm (1.04-1.75 mm) in males. While median and 5th and 95th percentiles for the ascending and descending aorta increased with age in both sexes, the association between age and median AWT was stronger in males than in females for both the ascending and descending aorta. Reference values for the ascending and descending AWT are provided. In a healthy sample from the general population, the wall of the ascending aorta is thicker than the wall of the descending aorta, and both walls are thicker in males than females. The increase in wall thickness with age is greater in males. • Ascending aortic wall thickness is greater than descending aortic wall thickness. • Ascending and descending aortic wall thickness is greater in males. • Thoracic aortic wall thickness increases with age in both sexes. • The age-related increase in aortic wall thickness is stronger in males.
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    ABSTRACT: Background: It is unclear whether high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol concentration plays a causal role in atherosclerosis. A more important factor may be HDL cholesterol efflux capacity, the ability of HDL to accept cholesterol from macrophages, which is a key step in reverse cholesterol transport. We investigated the epidemiology of cholesterol efflux capacity and its association with incident atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease outcomes in a large, multiethnic population cohort. Methods: We measured HDL cholesterol level, HDL particle concentration, and cholesterol efflux capacity at baseline in 2924 adults free from cardiovascular disease who were participants in the Dallas Heart Study, a probability-based population sample. The primary end point was atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, defined as a first nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, or coronary revascularization or death from cardiovascular causes. The median follow-up period was 9.4 years. Results: In contrast to HDL cholesterol level, which was associated with multiple traditional risk factors and metabolic variables, cholesterol efflux capacity had minimal association with these factors. Baseline HDL cholesterol level was not associated with cardiovascular events in an adjusted analysis (hazard ratio, 1.08; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.59 to 1.99). In a fully adjusted model that included traditional risk factors, HDL cholesterol level, and HDL particle concentration, there was a 67% reduction in cardiovascular risk in the highest quartile of cholesterol efflux capacity versus the lowest quartile (hazard ratio, 0.33; 95% CI, 0.19 to 0.55). Adding cholesterol efflux capacity to traditional risk factors was associated with improvement in discrimination and reclassification indexes. Conclusions: Cholesterol efflux capacity, a new biomarker that characterizes a key step in reverse cholesterol transport, was inversely associated with the incidence of cardiovascular events in a population-based cohort. (Funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation and others.).
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · New England Journal of Medicine
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