Detection and quantitation of calcific atherosclerosis by ultrafast computed tomography in children and young adults with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia.
Ultrafast computed tomography (CT) is a new method for detecting calcific lesions in the coronary arteries. The ability of CT to detect and quantify coronary artery atherosclerosis in children and young adults at risk for malignant atherogenesis was evaluated. A total of 11 consecutive familial hypercholesterolemic (FH) homozygotes (3 to 37 years old) participated. Untreated total cholesterol concentrations were 488 to 1277 mg/dL (12.7 to 33.2 mmol/L). Angiography detected significant lesions in 7 of 11 patients. CT detected calcific atherosclerosis in all 9 of the patients older than 12 years of age, including all those with angina. CT was more sensitive in detecting aortic root and coronary ostial lesions, where atherosclerosis first appears in homozygous FH. The volume of calcification (in cubic millimeters) correlated with the severity and duration of the hypercholesterolemia (r = .62, P < .05) as well as with the presence of angina (P < .05). All patients with angina (7 of 7) had > 150 mm3 of calcified volume, whereas only 1 of 4 asymptomatic patients had a volume score > 150 mm3. We conclude that (1) coronary and aortic calcium phosphate deposits are common in young FH homozygotes; (2) these deposits are associated with the presence of angiographic stenoses, as has been seen in adults with coronary atherosclerosis; and (3) aortic calcific deposits are more common than calcific coronary lesions.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association