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High Pericoronary Adipose Tissue Linked to Endothelial Dysfunction

J Atheroscler Thromb 2022 Jun 24.

Association between High Pericoronary Adipose Tissue Computed Tomography Attenuation and Impaired Flow-Mediated Dilation of the Brachial Artery

Keishi Ichikawa 1, Toru Miyoshi 1, Yuko Ohno 2, Kazuhiro Osawa 3, Mitsutaka Nakashima 1, Takahiro Nishihara 1, Takashi Miki 1, Hironobu Toda 1, Masatoki Yoshida 1, Hiroshi Ito 1

Affiliations collapse


1Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama University.

2Department of Medical technology, Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare.

3Department of General Internal Medicine 3, Kawasaki Medical School General Medicine Center.

PMID: 35753780


Aims: Pericoronary adipose tissue (PCAT) attenuation on coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) is a noninvasive biomarker for pericoronary inflammation and is associated with cardiac mortality. We aimed to investigate the association between PCAT attenuation and endothelial dysfunction assessed using flow-mediated dilation (FMD).

Methods: A total of 119 outpatients who underwent both coronary CTA and FMD measurements were examined. PCAT attenuation values were assessed at the proximal 40-mm segments of all three major coronary arteries on coronary CTA. Endothelial function was assessed using FMD. Patients were then classified into two groups: those with endothelial dysfunction (FMD <4%, n=44) and those without endothelial dysfunction (FMD ≥ 4%, n=75).

Results: In all three coronary arteries, PCAT attenuation was significantly higher in patients with endothelial dysfunction than in those without endothelial dysfunction. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that PCAT attenuation in the right coronary artery (odds ratio [OR]=1.543; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.004-2.369,p=0.048) and left anterior descending artery (OR=1.525, 95% CI=1.004-2.369, p=0.049) was an independent predictor of endothelial dysfunction. Subgroup analysis of patients with adverse CTA findings (significant stenosis and/or high-risk plaque) and those with coronary artery calcium score >100 showed that high PCAT attenuation in all three coronary arteries was a significant predictor of endothelial dysfunction.

Conclusion: High PCAT attenuation was significantly associated with FMD-assessed endothelial dysfunction in patients with suspected coronary artery disease. Our results suggest that endothelial dysfunction is one of the pathophysiological mechanisms linking pericoronary inflammation to cardiac mortality.

Keywords: Coronary computed tomography angiography; Endothelial dysfunction; Flow-mediated dilation; Perivascular coronary inflammation.


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