A total atherosclerotic score for whole-body MRA and its relation to traditional cardiovascular risk factors

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The aim of this study was to create a scoring system for whole-body magnetic resonance angiography (WBMRA) that allows estimation of atherosclerotic induced luminal narrowing, and determine whether the traditional cardiovascular (CV) risk factors included in the Framingham risk score (FRS) were related to this total atherosclerotic score (TAS) in an elderly population. A group of 306 subjects, aged 70, were recruited from the general population and underwent WBMRA in a 1.5-T scanner. Three-dimensional sequences were acquired after administration of one i.v. injection of 40 ml gadodiamide. The arterial tree was divided into five territories (carotid, aorta, renal, upper and lower leg) comprising 26 vessel segments, and assessed according to its degree of stenosis or occlusion. FRS correlated to TAS (r = 0.30, P < 0.0001), as well as to the atherosclerotic score for the five individual territories. Of the parameters included in the FRS, male gender (P < 0.0001), systolic blood pressure (P = 0.0002), cigarette pack-years (P = 0.0008) and HDL cholesterol (P = 0.008) contributed to the significance. A scoring system for WBMRA was created. The significant relation towards traditional CV risk factors indicates that the proposed scoring system could be of value for assessing atherosclerotically induced luminal narrowing.

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