Prevalence of coronary artery disease across the Framingham risk categories: coronary artery calcium scoring and MSCT coronary angiography

J Nucl Cardiol. 2009 May-Jun;16(3):368-75. doi: 10.1007/s12350-009-9059-z. Epub 2009 Feb 14.


Background: Non-invasive assessment of subclinical atherosclerosis by means of coronary artery calcium scoring (CACS) and multi-slice computed tomography (MSCT) coronary angiography could improve patients' risk stratification. However, data relating observations on CACS and MSCT coronary angiography to traditional risk assessment are scarce.

Methods and results: In 314 consecutive outpatients (54 +/- 13 years, 56% males) without known CAD, CACS and 64-slice MSCT coronary angiography were performed. According to the Framingham risk score (FRS), 51% of patients were at low, 24% at intermediate and 25% at high risk, respectively. MSCT angiograms showing atherosclerosis were classified as showing obstructive (> or =50% luminal narrowing) CAD or not. Both CACS and MSCT coronary angiography showed a high prevalence of normal coronary arteries in low FRS patients (70% and 61%, respectively). An increase in the prevalence of CACS >400 (4% low vs 19% intermediate vs 36% high), CAD (39% low vs 79% intermediate vs 91% high), and obstructive CAD (15% low vs 43% intermediate vs 58% high) was observed across the FRS categories (P < .0001 for all comparisons).

Conclusions: A strong positive relationship exists between FRS and the prevalence and extent of atherosclerosis. Especially in intermediate FRS patients, CACS and MSCT coronary angiography provide useful information on the presence of subclinical atherosclerosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Calcinosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Calcinosis / epidemiology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronary Angiography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / statistics & numerical data*