Association of monocyte subsets with vulnerability characteristics of coronary plaques as assessed by 64-slice multidetector computed tomography in patients with stable angina pectoris



      The aim of the present study was to examine the relation between monocyte subsets and the presence, extent, and vulnerability characteristics of non-calcified coronary plaques (NCPs) as assessed by multidetector computed tomography (MDCT).


      We studied 73 patients with stable angina pectoris who underwent MDCT. Two monocyte subsets (CD14+CD16 and CD14+CD16+) were measured by flow cytometry. Coronary artery plaques were assessed by 64-slice MDCT. We defined NCP vulnerability according to the presence of positive remodeling (remodeling index > 1.05) and/or low CT attenuation plaques (<35 HU).


      A total of 40 (55%) patients had identifiable vulnerable plaques. The relative proportion of CD14+CD16+ monocytes was significantly greater in patients with 1 or multiple vulnerable plaques than in patients with no vulnerable plaques or control (healthy) subjects. In addition, the relative proportion of CD14+CD16+ monocytes was positively correlated with remodeling index (r = 0.40, P < 0.01) and negatively correlated with CT attenuation value (r = −0.34, P < 0.01).


      The present results suggest that an increased subset of CD14+CD16+ monocytes is related to coronary plaque vulnerability in patients with stable angina pectoris.


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