Improvement in LDL is associated with decrease in non-calcified plaque volume on coronary CTA as measured by automated quantitative software

Balaji Tamarappoo, Yuka Otaki, Mhairi Doris, Yoav Arnson, Heidi Gransar, Sean Hayes, John Friedman, Louise Thomson, Frances Wang, Alan Rozanski, Piotr Slomka, Damini Dey, Daniel Berman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Computed tomography coronary angiography (CTA) can be used for assessment of plaque characteristics; however, quantitative assessment of changes in plaque composition in response to LDL lowering has not been performed with CTA. We sought to assess the association between LDL reduction and changes in plaque composition with quantitative CTA. Methods: Quantification of total, calcified, non-calcified and low-density non-calcified plaque volumes (TPV, CPV, NCPV and LD-NCPV) was performed using semi-automated software in 234 vessels from 116 consecutive patients (89 men, 60 ± 10 years) with baseline LDL>70 mg/dl. Significant reduction in LDL was defined as a decrease by >10% of baseline LDL. Changes (Δ) in plaque volumes between the second and baseline study were compared between patients with LDL reduction (n = 63) and those with no decrease in LDL (n = 53). Results: Median LDL at baseline was 98 mg/dl [interquartile range (IQR) 83–119 mg/dl] and median ΔLDL was −14 mg/dl (IQR -38 to 3 mg/dl). Mean interval between sequential CTA was 3.5 ± 1.6 years. TPV, NCPV, and LD-NCPV decreased in patients with a reduction in LDL compared to baseline; whereas, patients without reduction in LDL experienced an increase in TPV, NCPV and LD-NCPV. After adjusting for age, statin use, diabetes, baseline LDL and baseline TPV, reduction in LDL was associated with a decrease in TPV (P = 0.005), NCPV (P = 0.002) and LD-NCPV (P = 0.011) compared to patients without a reduction in LDL. Conclusion: Reduction in LDL was associated with beneficial changes in the amount and composition of noncalcified plaque as measured using semi-automated quantitative software by CTA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-390
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Computerized tomography
  • Imaging
  • Lipids
  • cholesterol


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