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In Clinical research in cardiology : official journal of the German Cardiac Society

OBJECTIVES : To assess the incremental value of quantitative plaque features measured from computed tomography angiography (CTA) for predicting side branch (SB) occlusion in coronary bifurcation intervention.

METHODS : We included 340 patients with 377 bifurcation lesions in the post hoc analysis of the CT-PRECISION registry. Each bifurcation was divided into three segments: the proximal main vessel (MV), the distal MV, and the SB. Segments with evidence of coronary plaque were analyzed using semi-automated software allowing for quantitative analysis of coronary plaque morphology and stenosis. Coronary plaque measurements included calcified and noncalcified plaque volumes, and corresponding burdens (respective plaque volumes × 100%/vessel volume), remodeling index, and stenosis.

RESULTS : SB occlusion occurred in 28 of 377 bifurcation lesions (7.5%). The presence of visually identified plaque in the SB segment, but not in the proximal and distal MV segments, was the only qualitative parameter that predicted SB occlusion with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.792. Among quantitative plaque parameters calculated for the SB segment, the addition of noncalcified plaque burden (AUC 0.840, p = 0.003) and low-density plaque burden (AUC 0.836, p = 0.012) yielded significant improvements in predicting SB occlusion. Using receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, optimal cut-offs for noncalcified plaque burden and low-density plaque burden were > 33.6% (86% sensitivity and 78% specificity) and > 0.9% (89% sensitivity and 73% specificity), respectively.

CONCLUSIONS : CTA-derived noncalcified plaque burden, when added to the visually identified SB plaque, significantly improves the prediction of SB occlusion in coronary bifurcation intervention.

TRIAL REGISTRATION : Identifier: NCT03709836 registered on October 17, 2018.

Grodecki Kajetan, Cadet Sebastien, Staruch Adam D, Michalowska Anna M, Kepka Cezary, Wolny Rafal, Pregowski Jerzy, Kruk Mariusz, Debski Mariusz, Debski Artur, Michalowska Ilona, Slomka Piotr J, Witkowski Adam, Dey Damini, Opolski Maksymilian P


Coronary artery disease, Coronary bifurcation, Coronary computed tomography angiography, Percutaneous coronary intervention, Plaque burden