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Comprehensive biomechanical and anatomical atherosclerotic plaque metrics predict major adverse cardiovascular events: A new tool for clinical decision making

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Peer-reviewed

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Article

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Abstract

Background and aims: Anatomical imaging alone of coronary atherosclerotic plaques is insufficient to identify risk of future adverse events and guide management of non-culprit lesions. Low endothelial shear stress (ESS) and high plaque structural stress (PSS) are associated with events, but individually their predictive value is insufficient for risk prediction. We determined whether combining multiple complementary, biomechanical and anatomical plaque characteristics improves outcome prediction sufficiently to inform clinical decision-making. Methods: We examined baseline ESS, ESS gradient (ESSG), PSS, and PSS heterogeneity index (HI), and plaque burden in 22 lesions that developed subsequent events and 64 control lesions that remained quiescent from the PROSPECT study. Results: 86 fibroatheromas were analysed from 67 patients. Lesions with events showed higher PSS HI (0.32 vs. 0.24, p<0.001), lower local ESS (0.56Pa vs. 0.91Pa, p=0.007), and higher ESSG (3.82Pa/mm vs. 1.96Pa/mm, p=0.007), while high PSS HI (hazard ratio [HR] 3.9, p=0.006), high ESSG (HR 3.4, p=0.007) and plaque burden>70% (HR 2.6, p=0.02) were independent outcome predictors in multivariate analysis. Combining low ESS, high ESSG, and high PSS HI gave both high positive predictive value (80%), which increased further combined with plaque burden>70%, and negative predictive value (81.6%). Low ESS, high ESSG, and high PSS HI co-localised spatially within 1mm in lesions with events, and importantly, this cluster was distant from the minimum lumen area site. Conclusions: Combining complementary biomechanical and anatomical metrics significantly improves risk-stratification of individual coronary lesions. If confirmed from larger prospective studies, our results may inform targeted revascularisation vs. conservative management strategies.

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Journal Title

Atherosclerosis

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Journal ISSN

0021-9150
1879-1484

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Publisher

Elsevier

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Sponsorship
British Heart Foundation (TA/F/20/210001)
British Heart Foundation (CH/2000003/12800)
British Heart Foundation (None)
British Heart Foundation (CH/2000003/12800)
British Heart Foundation (FS/19/66/34658)
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) (BRC4 Y1)
British Heart Foundation (RE/18/1/34212)
British Heart Foundation (PG/18/14/33562)
Department of Health (via National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)) (NF-SI-0616-10036)
Department of Health (via National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)) (202375)