Aim: To assess the association of coronary artery geometry with the severity of coronary artery disease (CAD).
Methods: 73 asymptomatic individuals at increased risk of CAD due to peripheral vascular disease (18 women, mean age 63.5 +/- 8.2 years) underwent coronary computed tomography angiography (coronary CTA) using first generation dual-source CT. Curvature and tortuosity of the coronary arteries were quantified using semi-automatically generated centerlines. Measurements were performed for individual segments and for the entire artery. Coronary segments were labeled according to the presence of significant stenosis, defined as > 70% luminal narrowing, and the presence of plaque. Comparisons were made by segment and by artery, using linear mixed models.
Results: Overall, median curvature and tortuosity were, respectively, 0.094 [0.071; 0.120] and 1.080 [1.040; 1.120] on a per-segment level, and 0.096 [0.078; 0.118] and 1.175 [1.090; 1.420] on a per-artery level. Curvature was associated with significant stenosis at a per-segment (p <0.001) and per-artery level (p = 0.002). Curvature was 16.7% higher for segments with stenosis, and 13.8% higher for arteries with stenosis. Tortuosity was associated with significant stenosis only at the per-segment level (p = 0.002). Curvature was related to the presence of plaque at the per-segment (p <0.001) and per-artery level (p <0.001), tortuosity was only related to plaque at the per-segment level (p <0.001).
Conclusion: Coronary artery geometry as derived from coronary CTA is related to the presence of plaque and significant stenosis.