Assessment With Multi-Slice Computed Tomography and Gray-Scale and Virtual Histology Intravascular Ultrasound of Gender-Specific Differences in Extent and Composition of Coronary Atherosclerotic Plaques in Relation to Age
Data evaluating gender- and age-specific differences in plaque observations on multislice computed tomography (MSCT) are scarce. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to evaluate coronary plaque patterns in men and women in relation to age using MSCT. The findings were compared to observations on grayscale intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and virtual histology (VH) IVUS. In total, 93 patients (59 men, 34 women) underwent 64-slice MSCT followed by conventional coronary angiography with IVUS. Plaque extent and composition were assessed on MSCT, grayscale IVUS, and VH IVUS. Coronary plaque patterns were compared between men and women in 2 age groups (<65 and ≥65 years old). In patients aged <65 years, more plaques were observed on MSCT in men (6 ± 4 vs 2 ± 2 in women, p <0.001). Also, a larger plaque burden was observed on grayscale IVUS in men (45.7 ± 11.4% vs 36.3 ± 11.6% in women, p <0.001). Similarly, more mixed plaques were observed in men (3 ± 3 vs 1 ± 1 in women, p = 0.003), whereas a larger arc of calcium was detected on grayscale IVUS in men (91.7 ± 93.5° vs 25.7 ± 51.0° in women, p <0.001). On VH IVUS, the prevalence of thin-cap fibroatheroma was higher in men (31% vs 0%) compared to women. In patients aged ≥65 years old, no important differences in plaque patterns were observed between men and women. In conclusion, more extensive atherosclerosis and more calcified lesions were observed in men than in women. These differences were predominantly present in patients aged <65 years and were lost in those aged ≥65 years.