We analyzed 83 plaques from 33 stable angina patients who underwent both CCT and OCT. CAC density was measured at calcium plaques with ≥90 Hounsfield units (HU) and ≥130 HU using custom CT software. The correlation between median CAC density and OCT-derived calcium size (thickness and area) was assessed. To investigate whether median CAC densities measured at the 90 HU threshold were associated with plaque vulnerability, OCT-derived plaque characteristics and HRP characteristics were compared between the low (90-129 HU), intermediate (130-199 HU) and high (≥200 HU) CAC HU groups.
Median CAC densities at 130 HU were moderately associated with calcium thickness (R = 0.573, p < 0.001) and area (R = 0.560, p < 0.001). Similar results were observed at 90 HU (thickness, R = 0.615, p < 0.001; area, R = 0.612, p < 0.001). Among groups with low, intermediate and high HU levels, calcium thickness (0.42 ± 0.14 mm, 0.60 ± 0.17 mm and 0.77 ± 0.19 mm, respectively; p < 0.001) and area (0.55 ± 0.29 mm, 1.20 ± 0.58 mm and 1.78 ± 0.87 mm, respectively; p < 0.001) were significantly greater in the high HU group. HRP characteristics, however, did not differ among the three groups.
OCT-derived calcium size, but not HRP characteristics, were associated with CAC density, suggesting that CAC density is driven mainly by calcified plaque size but not local plaque vulnerability.
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