Coronary Artery Ectasia Predicts Future Cardiac Events in Patients With Acute Myocardial Infarction

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Abstract

Objective—

Coronary artery ectasia (CAE) is an infrequently observed vascular phenotype characterized by abnormal vessel dilatation and disturbed coronary flow, which potentially promote thrombogenicity and inflammatory reactions. However, whether or not CAE influences cardiovascular outcomes remains unknown.

Approach and Results—

We investigated major adverse cardiac events (MACE; defined as cardiac death and nonfatal myocardial infarction [MI]) in 1698 patients with acute MI. The occurrence of MACE was compared in patients with and without CAE. CAE was identified in 3.0% of study subjects. During the 49-month observation period, CAE was associated with 3.25-, 2.71-, and 4.92-fold greater likelihoods of experiencing MACE (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.88–5.66; P<0.001), cardiac death (95% CI, 1.37–5.37; P=0.004), and nonfatal MI (95% CI, 2.20–11.0; P<0.001), respectively. These cardiac risks of CAE were consistently observed in a multivariate Cox proportional hazards model (MACE: hazard ratio, 4.94; 95% CI, 2.36–10.4; P<0.001) and in a propensity score–matched cohort (MACE: hazard ratio, 8.98; 95% CI, 1.14–71.0; P=0.03). Despite having a higher risk of CAE-related cardiac events, patients with CAE receiving anticoagulation therapy who achieved an optimal percent time in target therapeutic range, defined as ≥60%, did not experience the occurrence of MACE (P=0.03 versus patients with percent time in target therapeutic range <60% or without anticoagulation therapy).

Conclusions—

The presence of CAE predicted future cardiac events in patients with acute MI. Our findings suggest that acute MI patients with CAE are a high-risk subset who might benefit from a pharmacological approach to controlling the coagulation cascade.

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