Background: The association between lipoprotein levels and coronary plaque composition is not well understood. Objective: The aim of this prospective international multicenter study of statin-naive individuals was to evaluate the association of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and total cholesterol (TC) to coronary plaque composition by coronary computed tomographic angiography (CTA). Methods: We studied 4575 individuals without known coronary artery disease not taking statin medications who underwent coronary CTA. Comparisons were made between those with high versus low LDL, HDL, TC, and non-HDL. We assessed the relationship of lipoproteins and plaques of specific composition (noncalcified [NCP], partially calcified [PCP], or calcified [CP] plaque). Results: Mean age was 57 ± 11 years (55% men). In univariable analyses, high LDL, low HDL, high TC, and high non-HDL were each associated with increased prevalence of NCPs, PCPs, and CPs (P < 0.05 for all). In multivariable analyses, high non-HDL was associated with the presence of NCP (odds ratio, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.22-1.78: P < 0.001). In the further subanalysis, a weak relationship between the highest group of non HDL (≥190 mg/dL) and the presence of CP was also noted (odds ratio, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.01-1.76; P = 0.04). Further, high non-HDL was associated with increasing numbers of segments with NCP (β coefficient, 0.043; 95% CI, 0.021-0.065; P < 0.001) but not segments with PCP or CP. Conclusion: NCP presence and extent are associated with high non-HDL. These results suggest a relationship between lipid profile and plaque composition.

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Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Nakazato, R, Gransar, H, Berman, D.S, Cheng, V.Y, Lin, F.Y, Achenbach, S, … Min, J.K. (2013). Relationship of low- and high-density lipoproteins to coronary artery plaque composition by CT angiography. Journal of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography, 7(2), 83–90. doi:10.1016/j.jcct.2013.01.008