Lipid biomarkers in statin users with coronary artery disease annotated by coronary computed tomography angiography

Sci Rep. 2021 Jun 18;11(1):12899. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-92339-0.


Molecular markers are suggested to improve the diagnostic and prognostic accuracy in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) beyond current clinical scores based on age, gender, symptoms and traditional risk factors. In this context, plasma lipids are emerging as predictors of both plaque composition and risk of future events. We aim to identify plasma lipid biomarkers associated to CAD indexes of stenosis severity, plaque lipid content and a comprensive score of CAD extent and its risk. We used a simple high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method to identify 69 plasma lipids in 132 subjects referred to Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography (CCTA) for suspected CAD, all under statin treatment. Patients were stratified in groups using three different CCTA-based annotations: CTA-risk score, lipid plaque prevalence (LPP) ratio and the coronary artery disease-reporting and data system (CAD-RADS). We identified a common set of lipid biomarkers composed of 7 sphingomyelins and 3 phosphatidylethanolamines, which discriminates between high risk CAD patients and controls regardless of the CAD annotations used (CTA score, LPP ratio, or CAD-RADS). These results highlight the potential of circulating lipids as biomarkers of stenosis severity, non calcified plaque composition and overall plaque risk of events.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers*
  • Coronary Angiography* / methods
  • Coronary Artery Disease / blood*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / drug therapy
  • Coronary Artery Disease / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors* / administration & dosage
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors* / therapeutic use
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Prognosis
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Biomarkers
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Lipids