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Coronary risk factors for the increased of coronary wall thickness : multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis (MESA)


Coronary risk factors are established predictors of coronary atherosclerotic disease. The purpose of this study was to investigate the associations of conventional risk factors with increased of coronary artery wall thickness by MR imaging as a marker of atherosclerosis in an asymptomatic population.


Coronary wall MR imaging were performed in 194 participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis free of clinical cardiovascular disease (98 men, age 61 ± 9 yrs) using black-blood TSE technique. Cross-sectional coronary artery wall images were acquired and mean wall thickness was determined. Coronary calcium score (CAC) and carotid artery intimal-medial thickness (IMT) were obtained by standard protocols. Linear regression was used to determine the correlations of mean wall thickness and coronary risk factors, the number of risk factors, Framingham risk score, CAC and carotid IMT.


Male gender, high density lipoprotein (HDL), CAC and number of risk factors were associated with coronary artery wall thickness (p < 0.05). In multivariable analyses, the number of risk factors remained predictive of increased arterial wall thickness (0.0482 mm per risk factor (0.0105, 0.0859), P < 0.05). Framingham risk score and the number of coronary artery disease risk factors were positively related to coronary artery wall thickness in both univariable and multivariable models (p < 0.05) for men only. Wall thickness was significantly greater in men than women (p < 0.05). Large patient size (BMI ≥ 30) limited the ability to detect coronary wall thickness changes by MRI.


Number of coronary risk factors and Framingham risk score were positively related to coronary artery wall thickness by MRI in asymptomatic men. Significant relationships were not observed in the women, possibly due to small vessel size and/or lower levels of atherosclerosis.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Miao, C., Chen, S., Macedo, R. et al. Coronary risk factors for the increased of coronary wall thickness : multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis (MESA). J Cardiovasc Magn Reson 11 (Suppl 1), P87 (2009).

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  • Framingham Risk Score
  • Coronary Risk Factor
  • Coronary Calcium Score
  • Coronary Artery Disease Risk Factor
  • Arterial Wall Thickness