Impact of visceral fat on coronary artery disease as defined by quantitative computed tomography angiography

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)




OBJECTIVE: Obesity is associated with all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Visceral fat (VF) is an important CVD risk metric given its independent correlation with myocardial infarction and stroke. This study aims to clarify the relationship between the presence and severity of VF with the presence and severity of coronary artery plaque. METHODS: In 145 consecutive asymptomatic patients, atherosclerosis imaging-quantitative computed tomography was performed for total plaque volume (TPV) and percentage atheroma volume, as well as the volume of noncalcified plaque (NCP), calcified plaque, and low-density NCP (LD-NCP), diameter stenosis, and vascular remodeling. This study also included VF analysis and subcutaneous fat analysis, recording of outer waist circumference, and percentage body fat analysis. RESULTS: The mean age of the patients was 56.1 [SD 8.5] years, and 84.0% were male. Measures of visceral adiposity (mean [SD, Q1-Q3 thresholds]) included estimated body fat, 28.7% (9.0%, 24.1%-33.0%); VF, 169.8 cm (92.3, 102.0-219.0 cm ); and subcutaneous fat, 223.6 mm (114.2, 142.5-288.0 mm ). The Spearman correlation coefficients of VF and plaque volume included TPV 0.22 (p = 0.0074), calcified plaque 0.12 (p = 0.62), NCP 0.25 (p = 0.0023), and LD-NCP 0.37 (p < 0.0001). There was a progression of the median coronary plaque volume for each quartile of VF including TPV (Q1: 19.8, Q2: 48.1, Q3: 86.4, and Q4: 136.6 mm [p = 0.0098]), NCP (Q1: 15.7, Q2: 35.4, Q3: 86.4, and Q4: 136.6 mm [p = 0.0032]), and LD-NCP (Q1: 0.6, Q2: 0.81, Q3: 2.0, and Q4: 5.0 mm [p < 0.0001]). CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate progression with regard to VF and TPV, NCP volume, and LD-NCP volume. Notably, there was a progression of VF and amount of LD-NCP, which is known to be high risk for future cardiovascular events. A consistent progression may indicate the future utility of VF in CVD risk stratification.