Cardio-ankle vascular index is associated with coronary plaque composition assessed with iMAP-intravascular ultrasound in patients with coronary artery disease


      • Cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) is a parameter of aortic stiffness.
      • Patients with high CAVI have greater necrotic tissue in coronary culprit plaque.
      • CAVI is a useful surrogate marker for the prediction of coronary plaque vulnerability.



      The cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) is an indicator of arterial stiffness and has been reported to be associated with the severity of coronary artery disease and cardiovascular events. However, whether CAVI can predict the composition of coronary plaques remains unclear.


      We enrolled 208 patients who underwent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for culprit lesions evaluated with iMAP-intravascular ultrasound (IVUS), a radiofrequency imaging system for characterizing tissues. iMAP-IVUS classified the culprit plaque composition as fibrotic, lipidic, necrotic, or calcified, and the respective absolute volumes [fibrotic volume (FV), lipidic volume (LV), necrotic volume NV, and calcified volume] and their ratios (%) within the total plaque volume were calculated. A plaque with a median %NV of ≥ 33.2% was defined as a larger NV (LNV) plaque. We measured CAVI and divided the patients into two groups according to CAVI ≥8 (high CAVI, n = 164) or <8 (low CAVI, n = 44).


      Culprit plaques had significantly greater absolute NV (p = 0.016), %NV (p = 0.01), and smaller %FV (p = 0.02) in patients with high CAVI than in those with low CAVI. Patients with high CAVI had a higher prevalence of LNV plaques in culprit lesions than those with low CAVI (54% vs. 34%, p = 0.026). CAVI correlated significantly and positively with absolute NV, LV, and negatively with %FV. In logistic regression analysis after adjustment for the classic coronary risk factors and possible variables associated with vulnerable plaques, high CAVI had an independent and significant association with the presence of LNV plaques (OR, 3.37; 95% CI, 1.45–7.79; p = 0.0032).


      A high CAVI is associated with the composition of coronary culprit plaques, particularly increased amount of necrotic tissue, in patients with coronary artery disease undergoing PCI .

      Graphical abstract


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