Cardiac Computed Tomography Angiographic Findings as Predictors of Late Heart Failure in an Asymptomatic Diabetic Cohort: An 8-Year Prospective Follow-Up Study

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Objectives: Predictive models for heart failure (HF) in heterogeneous populations have had limited success. We examined cardiac computed tomography angiography (CTA) predictors of HF or cardiovascular death (HF-CVD) in a prospective study of asymptomatic diabetics undergoing baseline assessment by CTA. Methods: The subjects (n = 735, aged 55-74 years, 51.2% women) had no clinical history of cardiovascular disease at study entry. Coronary artery calcium (CAC) score, CTA-defined coronary atherosclerosis, cardiac chamber volumes, and clinical data were collected and late outcome events recorded over 8.4 ± 0.6 years (range 7.3-9.3). Results: HF-CVD occurred in 41 (5.6%) subjects, with HF occurring mostly (19/23, 82.6%) in subjects without preceding myocardial infarction. Baseline univariate clinical outcome predictors of HF-CVD included older age (p = 0.027), the duration of diabetes (p = 0.004), HbA1c (p < 0.0001), microvascular disease (retinopathy, microalbuminuria) (p < 0.0001), and systolic blood pressure (p = 0.035). Baseline univariate CTA predictors included CAC score (p = 0.004), coronary stenosis (p = 0.047), and a CTA-defined left/right atrial (LA/RA) volume ratio >1 (p < 0.0001). Independent predictors were an LA/RA volume ratio >1, microvascular disease, and systolic blood pressure (model C-statistic 0.792, 95% CI 0.758-0.824). Measures of the extent of coronary artery disease (CAD) were not independent predictors of HF-CVD. Conclusions: In a low- to moderate-risk asymptomatic diabetic population, CTA LA enlargement (LA/RA volume ratio) but not the extent of CAD had independent prognostic value for HF-CVD in addition to the clinical variables.

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