The impact of blood pressure variability on coronary plaque vulnerability in stable angina: an analysis using optical coherence tomography

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Blood pressure variability (BPV), especially visit-to-visit BPV, has been reported to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The impact of BPV on coronary plaque vulnerability remains uncertain. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between BPV and coronary plaque vulnerability.

Patients and methods

From August 2013 to May 2014, 36 patients with both hypertension and stable angina pectoris who underwent a percutaneous coronary intervention guided by frequency-domain optical coherence tomography were investigated retrospectively. The size of the lipid cores and the thickness of the fibrous cap covering the lipid core were measured by frequency-domain optical coherence tomography, and we calculated the blood pressure coefficient of variation (CV) and SD as intraindividual visit-to-visit BPV.


Both SD and CV of systolic blood pressure (SBP) correlated positively with lipid arc (SBP-SD: r=0.68, P<0.01; SBP-CV: r=0.64, P<0.01) as well as average SBP (r=0.48, P<0.01). Fibrous cap thickness did not correlate with blood pressure variables or BPV.


BPV is related to coronary plaque volume, but not to coronary plaque vulnerability. In addition to conventional coronary risk factors, BPV may be a therapeutic target for coronary atherosclerosis.

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