BACKGROUND: Patients with obstructive (≥50% stenosis) left main (LM) coronary artery disease (CAD) are at high risk for adverse events; prior studies have also documented worse outcomes among women than men with severe multivessel/LM CAD. However, the prognostic significance of nonobstructive (1%-49% stenosis) LM CAD, including sex-specific differences, has not been previously examined.
METHODS AND RESULTS: In the long-term CONFIRM (Coronary CT Angiography Evaluation For Clinical Outcomes: An International Multicenter) registry, patients underwent elective coronary computed tomographic angiography for suspected CAD and were followed for 5 years. After excluding those with obstructive LM CAD, 5166 patients were categorized as having normal LM or nonobstructive LM (18% of cohort). Cumulative 5-year incidence of death, myocardial infarction, or revascularization was higher among patients with nonobstructive LM than normal LM in both women and men: women (34.3% versus 15.4%; P<0.0001); men (24.6% versus 18.2%; P<0.0001). A significant interaction existed between sex and LM status for the composite outcome (P=0.001). In multivariable Cox regression, the presence of nonobstructive LM plaque increased the risk for the composite outcome in women (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.48; P=0.005) but not in men (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.98, P=0.806). In subgroup analysis, women with nonobstructive LM CAD had a nearly 80% higher risk for events than men with nonobstructive LM CAD (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.78; P=0.017); sex-specific interactions were not observed across other patterns (eg, location or extent) of nonobstructive plaque.
CONCLUSION: Nonobstructive LM CAD was frequently detected on coronary computed tomographic angiography and strongly associated with adverse events among women. Recognizing the sex-specific prognostic significance of nonobstructive LM plaque may augment risk stratification efforts.
- coronary computed tomographic angiography
- left main
- nonobstructive coronary artery disease
- sex disparities in coronary heart disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine