Relationship between coronary endothelial function and coronary calcification in early atherosclerosis



      The relationship between coronary endothelial function and coronary calcification is not well established.


      Forty-six patients 17 men [37%]; age, 47.4 ± 11.4 years prospectively underwent testing for coronary endothelial function and measurement of coronary artery calcification (CAC).


      Log CAC scores were not significantly different between patients with normal (n = 31) and abnormal (n = 15) response of epicardial coronary artery diameter to acetylcholine (%CADAch) (median (25, 75 percentile) 1.1 (0.0, 3.7) vs. 0.3 (0.0, 2.4), P = .32) and with normal (n = 28) and abnormal (n = 18) response of coronary blood flow to acetylcholine (%CBFAch) (0.5 (0.0, 3.6) vs. 0.5 (0.0, 3.2), P = .76). Log CAC scores did not correlate with %CADAch (r = 0.08, P = .59), %CBFAch (r = 0.14, P = .35).


      In patients without significant coronary artery disease, coronary endothelial dysfunction showed no apparent association with coronary calcification. Our findings suggest that these 2 markers may represent separate, independent processes in the progression of coronary atherosclerosis.


      CAC (coronary artery calcification), %CADAch (percent change of coronary artery diameter in response to acetylcholine), %CBFAch (percent change of coronary blood flow in response to acetylcholine), CFR (coronary flow reserve), CT (computed tomography), LAD (left anterior descending coronary artery)


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