Purpose: To determine the association between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and the presence of high-risk coronary atherosclerotic plaque as assessed with coronary computed tomographic (CT) angiography. Materials and Methods: This study was approved by the local ethics committees; informed consent was obtained. Patients randomized to the coronary CT angiography arm of the Rule Out Myocardial Infarction using Computer Assisted Tomography, or ROMICAT, II trial who underwent both nonenhanced CT to assess calcium score and contrast material-enhanced coronary CT angiography were included. Readers assessed coronary CT angiography images for the presence of coronary plaque, significant stenosis (≥50%), and high-risk plaque features (positive remodeling, CT attenuation < 30 HU, napkin-ring sign, spotty calcium). NAFLD was defined as hepatic steatosis at nonenhanced CT (liver minus spleen CT attenuation < 1 HU) without evidence of clinical liver disease, liver cirrhosis, or alcohol abuse. To determine the association between high-risk plaque and NAFLD, univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed, with high-risk plaque as a dependent variable and NAFLD, traditional risk factors, and extent of coronary atherosclerosis as independent variables. Results: Overall, 182 (40.9%) of 445 patients had CT evidence of NAFLD. High-risk plaque was more frequent in patients with NAFLD than in patients without NAFLD (59.3% vs 19.0%, respectively; P < .001). The association between NAFLD and high-risk plaque (odds ratio, 2.13; 95% confidence interval: 1.18, 3.85) persisted after adjusting for the extent and severity of coronary atherosclerosis and traditional risk factors. Conclusion: NAFLD is associated with advanced high-risk coronary plaque, independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors and the extent and severity of coronary artery disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging