Coronary Plaque Characterization in Psoriasis Reveals High Risk Features Which Improve Following Treatment in a Prospective Observational Study
Background—Psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory disease associated with an accelerated risk of MI, provides an ideal human model to study inflammatory atherogenesis in vivo. We hypothesized that the increased cardiovascular risk observed in psoriasis would be partially attributable to an elevated subclinical coronary artery disease (CAD) burden composed of non-calcified plaques with high-risk features. However, inadequate efforts have been made to directly measure CAD in this vulnerable population. As such, we sought to compare total (TB) and non-calcified (NCB) coronary plaque burden, and high-risk plaque (HRP) prevalence, between psoriasis patients (n=105), hyperlipidemic patients eligible for statin therapy under NCEP-ATP III guidelines (n=100) who were ~10 years older, and non-psoriasis healthy volunteers (HV) (n=25).
Methods—Patients underwent coronary computed-tomography angiography (CCTA) for TB and NCB quantification, and HRP identification, defined as low-attenuation (<30 HU), positive remodeling (>1.10), and spotty calcification. A consecutive sample of the first 50 psoriasis patients were scanned again at 1 year following therapy.
Results—Despite being younger and at lower traditional risk than hyperlipidemic patients, psoriasis patients had increased NCB (mean±S.D.:1.18±0.33 vs 1.11±0.32, p=0.02), and similar HRP prevalence (p=0.58). Furthermore, compared to HV, psoriasis patients had increased TB (1.22±0.31 vs 1.04±0.22, p=0.001), NCB (1.18±0.33 vs 1.03±0.21, p=0.004), and HRP prevalence beyond traditional risk (OR=6.0, 95% CI: 1.1-31.7; p=0.03). Finally, amongst psoriasis patients followed for 1-year, improvement in psoriasis severity associated with improvement in TB (β=0.45, 0.23-0.67; p<0.001) and NCB (β=0.53, 0.32-0.74; p<0.001) beyond traditional risk factors.
Conclusions—Psoriasis patients had greater NCB and increased HRP prevalence than HV. Additionally, psoriasis patients had elevated NCB and equivalent HRP prevalence as older, hyperlipidemic patients. Finally, modulation of target organ inflammation (eg. skin) associated with an improvement in NCB at 1 year, suggesting that control of remote sites of inflammation may translate into reduced CAD risk.
- high-risk coronary plaque
- coronary artery disease
- coronary computed tomography angiography
- Received December 10, 2016.
- Revision received April 11, 2017.
- Accepted April 27, 2017.