Assessing Vessel Tone during Coronary Artery Spasm by Dual-Acquisition Multidetector Computed Tomography Angiography

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Background: Diminished vascular tone is an established biomarker of heart damage. Little is known about the extent of coronary vessel tone (CVT) with spasm as assessed by dual-acquisition multidetector computed tomography angiography (MCTA) in patients with vasospastic angina (VSA). Objective: We evaluated the CVT modulated by intravenous nitrate injection (INI) using MCTA imaging in VSA patients. Methods: Twenty-one VSA patients (60 ± 9 years; 76% males) who underwent initial MCTA (without morning vasodilation), followed by an intracoronary ergonovine provocation test were included. Within 3 days after the initial MCTA patients received INI followed by 28-vessel segment spasm analyzed by MCTA 3D software, applying the following formula as the definition of CVT index (CVTI): (CSAIV nitrate - CSAinitial/CSAIV nitrate) ×100 %, where CSA is the cross-sectional area. Results: Compared to the initial MCTA measures, the INI provocation resulted in the significant increase of average diameter and CSA at the spasm site (2.60 mm [2.11-3.16] vs. 1.42 mm [1.13-2.13]; 5.37 mm2 [3.67-7.54] vs. 1.62 mm2 [1.02-3.02]; p < 0.001). The CVTI at the spastic segments was higher than at the proximal reference segments (41.0% [21.8-52.3] vs. 18.8% [5.9-26.6] for CVTI diameter; 65.1% [38.6-77.0] vs. 33.9% [5.2-48.1] for CVTI CSA, respectively). To predict VSA, the cut-off value for CVTI diameter was 38.6% (AUC 0.777; 95% CI 0.653-0.901) and 62.5% (AUC 0.779; 95% CI 0.657-0.902) for CVTI CSA in a receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis, with 57.1% sensitivity and 92.9% specificity. Conclusions: This novel imaging technique for assessing CVT by dual-acquisition MCTA after applying INI provocation is suitable for the detection of coronary artery spasm in patients with VSA.

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