Aims: Cholesterol efflux capacity (CEC) was recently shown to predict future cardiovascular (CV) events. Psoriasis both increases CV risk and impairs CEC. However, whether having poor CEC is associated with coronary plaque burden is currently unknown. We aimed to assess the cross-sectional relationship between coronary plaque burden assessed by quantitative coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) with CEC in a well-phenotyped psoriasis cohort.
Methods and results: Total burden and non-calcified burden (NCB) plaque indices were assessed in 101 consecutive psoriasis patients using quantitative software. Cholesterol efflux capacity was quantified using a cell-based ex vivo assay measuring the ability of apoB-depleted plasma to mobilize cholesterol from lipid-loaded macrophages. Cholesterol efflux capacity was inversely correlated with NCB (unadjusted β-coefficient -0.33; P < 0.001), and this relationship persisted after adjustment for CV risk factors (β -0.24; P < 0.001), HDL-C levels (β -0.22; P < 0.001), and apoA1 levels (β -0.19; P < 0.001). Finally, we observed a significant gender interaction (P < 0.001) whereby women with low CEC had higher NCB compared to men with low CEC.
Conclusions: We show that CEC is inversely associated with prevalent coronary plaque burden measured by quantitative CCTA. Low CEC may therefore be an important biomarker for subclinical coronary atherosclerosis in psoriasis.
Keywords: Cholesterol efflux capacity (CEC); Coronary plaque burden; HDL efflux; Inflammatory atherogenesis; Lipids; Non-calcified plaque burden; Psoriasis; Quantitative coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA).
Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology 2015. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.