Impact of Coronary Plaque Vulnerability on Acute Cardiovascular Events – Design of a CT-based 2-year Follow-up Study

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With coronary artery disease (CAD) projected to remain the leading cause of global mortality, prevention strategies seem to be the only effective approach able to reduce the burden and improve mortality and morbidity. At this moment, diagnostic strategies focus mainly on symptomatic patients, ignoring the occurrence of major cardiovascular events as the only manifestation of CAD. As two thirds of fatal myocardial infarction are resulting from plaque rupture, an approach based on the “vulnerable plaque” concept is mandatory in order to improve patient diagnosis, treatment, and, by default, prognosis. Given that the main studies focus on a plaque-centered approach, this is a prospective observational study that will perform a complex assessment of the features that characterize unstable coronary lesions, in terms of both local assessment via specific coronary computed tomography angiography markers of coronary plaque vulnerability and systemic approach based on serological markers of systemic inflammation in patients proved to be “vulnerable” by developing acute cardiovascular events.

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