Evolution of coronary artery calcium and absolute myocardial perfusion after percutaneous revascularization: A 3-year serial hybrid [15O]H2O PET/CT imaging study


      • Higher baseline coronary artery calcium (CAC) was associated with decreased hyperemic myocardial blood flow (hMBF) and coronary flow reserve (CFR).
      • CAC burden showed a significant independent inverse relationship with hMBF and CFR.
      • CAC burden and its progression during 3 years follow-up were not associated with evolution of absolute myocardial perfusion.


      Background and aims

      The value of serial coronary artery calcium (CAC) scores to predict changes in absolute myocardial perfusion and epicardial vasomotor function is poorly documented. This study explored the association between progression of CAC score and changes in absolute myocardial perfusion.


      Fifty-three patients (26% female) with de novo single-vessel coronary artery disease underwent [15O]H2O positron emission tomography/computed tomography at 1 month (baseline), 1 year, and 3 years after complete revascularization with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to assess CAC scores, hyperemic myocardial blood flow (hMBF), coronary flow reserve (CFR) and cold pressor test MBF (CPT-MBF), within the context of the VANISH trial.


      Baseline CAC score was 0 in 9%, 0.1–99.9 in 40%, 100–399.9 in 36% and ≥400 in 15% of patients, respectively. Mixed model-analysis allowed for averaging perfusion indices over all time points: hMBF (3.74 ± 0.83; 3.33 ± 0.79; 3.08 ± 0.78 and 2.44 ± 0.74 mL min−1·g−1) and CFR (3.82 ± 1.12; 3.17 ± 0.80; 3.19 ± 0.81; 2.63 ± 0.92) were lower among higher baseline CAC groups (p < 0.01; p = 0.03). However, no significant interaction was found between baseline CAC groups and time after PCI for all perfusion indices, denoting that evolution of perfusion indices over time was not significantly different between CAC groups. Furthermore, CAC progression was not correlated with evolution of hMBF (r = 0.08, p = 0.57), CFR (r = 0.09, p = 0.53) or CPT-MBF (r = 0.03, p = 0.82) during 3 years of follow-up.


      Higher baseline CAC was associated with lower hMBF and CFR. However, both baseline CAC and its progression were not associated with evolution of absolute hMBF, CFR and CPT-MBF over time, suggesting that CAC score and progression of CAC are poor indicators of change in absolute myocardial perfusion.

      Graphical abstract


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