Non-obstructive coronary artery disease documented by cardiac computed tomography: Discrepancy between atherosclerotic burden and cardiovascular risk

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Abstract

Cardiac computed tomography (CT) documents the presence of coronary artery disease, regardless of the degree of stenosis. The prognostic value of non-obstructive coronary artery disease documented by cardiac CT has recently been validated. However, there are still no clear guidelines on the management of such patients, particularly concerning initiation of more aggressive pharmacological measures for primary prevention. The approach to these patients remains controversial, especially in cases in which there is a discrepancy between cardiovascular risk and the atherosclerotic burden as documented by cardiac CT. The authors describe the case of a patient with a discrepancy between the extent of documented coronary atherosclerosis and that estimated according to pretest probability and cardiovascular risk scores. As this individual had more severe coronary atherosclerosis than expected (calcium score above the 90th percentile and non-obstructive coronary artery disease on cardiac CT) but was a competitive athlete and otherwise asymptomatic and without risk factors or cardiovascular history, with a very low estimated cardiovascular risk, it was difficult to decide on the risks and benefits of pharmacological primary prevention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-618
Number of pages6
JournalRevista Portuguesa de Cardiologia
Volume32
Issue number7-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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