Coronary CT Angiography Plaque Data Improves Major Adverse Cardiac Events Risk Assessment in Diabetics

Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography (cCTA) derived plaque data improves risk assessment of major adverse cardiac events (MACE) in cardiac patients with diabetes, according to a study published October 28, 2021, in the Journal of Thoracic Imaging.

“At this five-year follow-up, 31 patients (8.6%) had experienced a major cardiac episode. Patients with diabetes had higher CCTA risk scores and plaque measures compared to those who did not have diabetes. And the team found the following measures were predictive of cardiac events in diabetic patients:

  • “Segment stenosis score (hazard ratio, 1.20, p < 0.001)
  • “Low-attenuation plaque (hazard ratio, 3.47, p = 0.05)

“In nondiabetic patients, segment stenosis score (hazard ratio, 1.92, p < 0.001), Agatston score (hazard ratio, 1.0009, p = 0.04), and low-attenuation plaque (hazard ratio, 4.15, p = 0.04) were associated with major cardiac events," reported Yee.

“Diabetes is associated with a significantly higher extent of coronary artery disease and plaque features, which have independent predictive values for MACE. cCTA-derived plaque information portends improved risk stratification of patients with diabetes beyond the assessment of obstructive stenosis on cCTA alone with subsequent impact on individualized treatment decision-making,” concluded the authors.


Prognostic Utility of Coronary Computed Tomography Angiography-derived Plaque Information on Long-term Outcome in Patients With and Without Diabetes Mellitus. Christian Tesche, Moritz Baquet, Maximilian Bauer, et al. Journal of Thoracic Imaging. October 28, 2021, at Accessed November 15, 2021.

Yee, Kate. CCTA plaque data improve heart disease risk assessment in diabetics. Published online November 1, 2021, at Accessed November 15, 2021.