The heritability of coronary atherosclerotic plaque burden, coronary geometry, and phenotypes associated with increased cardiometabolic risk are largely unknown. The primary aim of the Burden of Atherosclerotic Plaques Study in Twins-Genetic Loci and the Burden of Atherosclerotic Lesions (BUDAPEST-GLOBAL) study is to evaluate the influence of genetic and environmental factors on the burden of coronary artery disease. By design this is a prospective, single-center, classical twin study. In total, 202 twins (61 monozygotic pairs, 40 dizygotic same-sex pairs) were enrolled from the Hungarian Twin Registry database. All twins underwent non-contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) for the detection and quantification of coronary artery calcium and for the measurement of epicardial fat volumes. In addition, a single non-contrast-enhanced image slice was acquired at the level of L3-L4 to assess abdominal fat distribution. Coronary CT angiography was used for the detection and quantification of plaque, stenosis, and overall coronary artery disease burden. For the primary analysis, we will assess the presence and volume of atherosclerotic plaques. Furthermore, the 3-dimensional coronary geometry will be assessed based on the coronary CT angiography datasets. Additional phenotypic analyses will include per-patient epicardial and abdominal fat quantity measurements. Measurements obtained from monozygotic and dizygotic twin pairs will be compared to evaluate the genetic or environmental effects of the given phenotype. The BUDAPEST-GLOBAL study provides a unique framework to shed some light on the genetic and environmental influences of cardiometabolic disorders.
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.