Background and Objectives: Primary prevention of coronary artery disease (CAD) has become a public health issue, according to increasing awareness of the substantial risks posed by asymptomatic atherosclerosis. The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence and characteristics of subclinical CAD using coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA), and to evaluate the role of this advanced technology in identifying subclinical CAD in asymptomatic Korean individuals, compared with conventional risk stratification. Subjects and Methods: We enrolled 4,320 consecutive asymptomatic individuals (61% males, aged 50±9 years), who underwent 64-slice CCTA during a routine health check. Results: Coronary artery plaques were present in 1,053 (24%) individuals. Significant stenosis (diameter stenosis >50%) was identified in 139 (3%) subjects, and most of the significant lesions (87%) were located in the left anterior descending artery. CCTA revealed non-calcified plaques in 5% of subjects with a coronary calcium score of zero (n=801). Although 25% (n=10) of those with noncalcified plaque had significant stenosis, most of them (90%) were classified into low- or moderate-risk groups according to National Cholesterol Education Program risk stratification guidelines. In a young population (age ≤55 years for males, ≤65 years for females), 30% of subjects with significant stenosis were classified into a low-risk group and 60% had low (0 to 100) calcium scores. Conclusion: Subclinical CAD in asymptomatic individuals cannot be ignored for its considerable prevalence, CCTA may be helpful in identifying at-risk subclinical CAD in a noninvasive manner, especially in the young and traditionally low-risk population.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine