Objectives: This study sought to explore sex-based differences in total and compositional plaque volume (PV) progression. Background: It is unclear whether sex has an impact on PV progression in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD). Methods: The study analyzed a prospective multinational registry of consecutive patients with suspected CAD who underwent 2 or more clinically indicated coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) at ≥2-year intervals. Total and compositional PV at baseline and follow-up were quantitatively analyzed and normalized using the analyzed total vessel length. Multivariate linear regression models were constructed. Results: Of the 1,255 patients included (median coronary CTA interval 3.8 years), 543 were women and 712 were men. Women were older (62 ± 9 years of age vs. 59 ± 9 years of age; p <0.001) and had higher total cholesterol levels (195 ± 41 mg/dl vs. 187 ± 39 mg/dl; p = 0.002). Prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, and family history of CAD were not different (all p > 0.05). At baseline, men possessed greater total PV (31.3 mm3 [interquartile range (IQR): 0 to 121.8 mm3] vs. 56.7 mm3 [IQR: 6.8 to 152.1 mm3] p = 0.005), and there was an approximately 9-year delay in women in developing total PV than in men. The prevalence of high-risk plaques was greater in men than women (31% vs. 20%; p <0.001). In multivariate analysis, after adjusting for age, clinical risk factors, medication use, and total PV at baseline, despite similar total PV progression rates, female sex was associated with greater calcified PV progression (β = 2.83; p = 0.004) but slower noncalcified PV progression (β = –3.39; p = 0.008) and less development of high-risk plaques (β = –0.18; p = 0.049) than in men. Conclusions: The compositional PV progression differed according to sex, suggesting that comprehensive plaque evaluation may contribute to further refining of risk stratification according to sex. (NCT02803411).
- coronary artery atherosclerosis
- coronary artery disease
- coronary computed tomography angiography
- sex difference