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OBJECTIVE - Evaluate whether smoking exposure and depressive symptoms accumulated over 25 years are synergistically associated with subclinical heart disease, measured by coronary artery calcification (CAC).
METHOD - Participants (baseline: 54.5% women; 51.5% Black; age range = 18-30 years) were followed prospectively from 1985 to 2010 in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study. Smoking status was queried yearly from Year 0 to Year 25 to compute packyears of smoking exposure. Depressive symptoms were measured on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) scale every 5 years to compute cumulative scores from Year 5 to Year 25. A three-level multinomial logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between cumulative smoking, cumulative depressive symptoms, and their interaction with moderate-risk CAC (score 1-99) and higher-risk CAC (score ≥100) compared with no CAC (score = 0) at Year 25. Models were adjusted for sociodemographic, clinical, and behavioral covariates.
RESULTS - Among 3,189 adults, the cumulative Smoking × Depressive Symptoms interaction was not significant for moderate-risk CAC (p = .057), but was significant for higher-risk CAC (p = .001). For adults with a 30-packyear smoking history, average CES-D scores 2, 10, and 16 were, respectively, associated with odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) 3.40 (2.36-4.90), 4.82 (3.03-7.66), and 6.25 (3.31-11.83) for higher-risk CAC (all ps < .05).
CONCLUSION - Cumulative smoking exposure and cumulative depressive symptoms have a synergistic association with subclinical heart disease, where higher lifetime smoking exposure and depressive symptoms are associated with greater odds of CAC. (PsycINFO Database Record
(c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved).
CONTEXT - Relative to European Americans, calcified atherosclerotic plaque (CP) is less prevalent and severe in African-Americans (AAs).
OBJECTIVE - Predictors of progression of CP in the aorta, carotid, and coronary arteries were examined in AAs over a mean 5.3 ± 1.4-year interval.
DESIGN - This is the African American-Diabetes Heart Study.
SETTING - A type 2 diabetes (T2D)-affected cohort was included.
PARTICIPANTS - A total of 300 unrelated AAs with T2D; 50% female, mean age 55 ± 9 years, baseline hemoglobin A1c 8.1 ± 1.8% was included.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES - Glycemic control, renal parameters, vitamin D, and computed tomography-derived measures of adiposity, vascular CP, and volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD) in lumbar and thoracic vertebrae were obtained at baseline and follow-up.
RESULTS - CP increased in incidence and quantity/mass in all three vascular beds over the 5-year study (P < .0001). Lower baseline lumbar and thoracic vBMD were associated with progression of abdominal aorta CP (P < .008), but not progression of carotid or coronary artery CP. Lower baseline estimated glomerular filtration rate was associated with progression of carotid artery CP (P = .0004), and higher baseline pericardial adipose volume was associated with progression of coronary artery (P = .001) and aorta (P = .0006) CP independent of body mass index. There was a trend for an inverse relationship between change in thoracic vBMD and change in aortic CP (P = .05).
CONCLUSIONS - In this longitudinal study, lower baseline thoracic and lumbar vBMD and estimated glomerular filtration rate and higher pericardial adipose volumes were associated with increases in CP in AAs with T2D. Changes in these variables and baseline levels and/or changes in glycemic control, albuminuria, and vitamin D were not significantly associated with progression of CP.
Extensive or persistent calcium phosphate deposition within soft tissues after severe traumatic injury or major orthopedic surgery can result in pain and loss of joint function. The pathophysiology of soft tissue calcification, including dystrophic calcification and heterotopic ossification (HO), is poorly understood; consequently, current treatments are suboptimal. Here, we show that plasmin protease activity prevents dystrophic calcification within injured skeletal muscle independent of its canonical fibrinolytic function. After muscle injury, dystrophic calcifications either can be resorbed during the process of tissue healing, persist, or become organized into mature bone (HO). Without sufficient plasmin activity, dystrophic calcifications persist after muscle injury and are sufficient to induce HO. Downregulating the primary inhibitor of plasmin (α2-antiplasmin) or treating with pyrophosphate analogues prevents dystrophic calcification and subsequent HO in vivo. Because plasmin also supports bone homeostasis and fracture repair, increasing plasmin activity represents the first pharmacologic strategy to prevent soft tissue calcification without adversely affecting systemic bone physiology or concurrent muscle and bone regeneration. © 2016 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
© 2016 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.
INTRODUCTION - Soft tissue calcification, including both dystrophic calcification and heterotopic ossification, may occur following injury. These lesions have variable fates as they are either resorbed or persist. Persistent soft tissue calcification may result in chronic inflammation and/or loss of function of that soft tissue. The molecular mechanisms that result in the development and maturation of calcifications are uncertain. As a result, directed therapies that prevent or resorb soft tissue calcifications remain largely unsuccessful. Animal models of post-traumatic soft tissue calcification that allow for cost-effective, serial analysis of an individual animal over time are necessary to derive and test novel therapies. We have determined that a cardiotoxin-induced injury of the muscles in the posterior compartment of the lower extremity represents a useful model in which soft tissue calcification develops remote from adjacent bones, thereby allowing for serial analysis by plain radiography. The purpose of the study was to design and validate a method for quantifying soft tissue calcifications in mice longitudinally using plain radiographic techniques and an ordinal scoring system.
METHODS - Muscle injury was induced by injecting cardiotoxin into the posterior compartment of the lower extremity in mice susceptible to developing soft tissue calcification. Seven days following injury, radiographs were obtained under anesthesia. Multiple researchers applied methods designed to standardize post-image processing of digital radiographs (N = 4) and quantify soft tissue calcification (N = 6) in these images using an ordinal scoring system. Inter- and intra-observer agreement for both post-image processing and the scoring system used was assessed using weighted kappa statistics. Soft tissue calcification quantifications by the ordinal scale were compared to mineral volume measurements (threshold 450.7mgHA/cm3) determined by μCT. Finally, sample-size calculations necessary to discriminate between a 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% difference in STiCSS score 7 days following burn/CTX induced muscle injury were determined.
RESULTS - Precision analysis demonstrated substantial to good agreement for both post-image processing (κ = 0.73 to 0.90) and scoring (κ = 0.88 to 0.93), with low inter- and intra-observer variability. Additionally, there was a strong correlation in quantification of soft tissue calcification between the ordinal system and by mineral volume quantification by μCT (Spearman r = 0.83 to 0.89). The ordinal scoring system reliably quantified soft tissue calcification in a burn/CTX-induced soft tissue calcification model compared to non-injured controls (Mann-Whitney rank test: P = 0.0002, ***). Sample size calculations revealed that 6 mice per group would be required to detect a 50% difference in STiCSS score with a power of 0.8. Finally, the STiCSS was demonstrated to reliably quantify soft tissue calcification [dystrophic calcification and heterotopic ossification] by radiographic analysis, independent of the histopathological state of the mineralization.
CONCLUSIONS - Radiographic analysis can discriminate muscle injury-induced soft tissue calcification from adjacent bone and follow its clinical course over time without requiring the sacrifice of the animal. While the STiCSS cannot identify the specific type of soft tissue calcification present, it is still a useful and valid method by which to quantify the degree of soft tissue calcification. This methodology allows for longitudinal measurements of soft tissue calcification in a single animal, which is relatively less expensive, less time-consuming, and exposes the animal to less radiation than in vivo μCT. Therefore, this high-throughput, longitudinal analytic method for quantifying soft tissue calcification is a viable alternative for the study of soft tissue calcification.
OBJECTIVES - To describe a new hypothesis for the initial events leading to urinary stones. A biomechanical perspective on Randall's plaque formation through form and function relationships is applied to functional units within the kidney, we have termed the 'medullo-papillary complex' - a dynamic relationship between intratubular and interstitial mineral aggregates.
METHODS - A complete MEDLINE search was performed to examine the existing literature on the anatomical and physiological relationships in the renal medulla and papilla. Sectioned human renal medulla with papilla from radical nephrectomy specimens were imaged using a high resolution micro X-ray computed tomography. The location, distribution, and density of mineral aggregates within the medullo-papillary complex were identified.
RESULTS - Mineral aggregates were seen proximally in all specimens within the outer medulla of the medullary complex and were intratubular. Distal interstitial mineralisation at the papillary tip corresponding to Randall's plaque was not seen until a threshold of proximal mineralisation was observed. Mineral density measurements suggest varied chemical compositions between the proximal intratubular (330 mg/cm ) and distal interstitial (270 mg/cm ) deposits. A review of the literature revealed distinct anatomical compartments and gradients across the medullo-papillary complex that supports the empirical observations that proximal mineralisation triggers distal Randall's plaque formation.
CONCLUSION - The early stone event is initiated by intratubular mineralisation of the renal medullary tissue leading to the interstitial mineralisation that is observed as Randall's plaque. We base this novel hypothesis on a multiscale biomechanics perspective involving form and function relationships, and empirical observations. Additional studies are needed to validate this hypothesis.
© 2016 The Authors BJU International © 2016 BJU International Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
BACKGROUND - We explored whether, the Pathobiological Determinants of Atherosclerosis in Youth (PDAY) coronary and abdominal risk scores measured at 18 to 30 years of age and changes in these scores would more strongly predict coronary artery calcium (CAC) and abdominal aortic calcium (AAC) assessed 25 years later, than scores measured 25 years later.
METHODS AND RESULTS - In the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, 3008 participants had measurements of risk score components at 5-year intervals beginning at 18 to 30 years of age. CAC and AAC were assessed at 43 to 55 years of age. Odds ratios (ORs) for the presence and extent of CAC/AAC per/point higher score and c-statistics for predicting CAC/AAC were calculated. The prevalence of CAC was 28% and AAC was 53%. For each 1 point higher PDAY score, the odds of CAC were higher using baseline scores than year 25 scores (OR, 1.29; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.25-1.33 versus OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.11-1.14). For AAC, ORs at years 0 and 25 were similar (OR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.24-1.34 versus OR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.19-1.26). C-statistic for CAC prediction was higher at year 0 than year 25 (0.731 versus 0.705) but similar at years 0 and 25 for AAC (0.665 versus 0.670). ORs for CAC were highest at baseline, and, for AAC, ORs were highest at year 10. Including change in PDAY scores with baseline scores improved prediction.
CONCLUSIONS - Atherosclerosis risk and change in risk assessed in young adulthood years before subclinical atherosclerosis imaging provide strong prediction of future subclinical atherosclerosis. CAC and AAC reflect chronic risk exposure in addition to risk measured at the time of study.
© 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.
BACKGROUND - Several studies have demonstrated the tremendous potential of using coronary artery calcium (CAC) in addition to traditional risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD) risk prediction. However, to date, no risk score incorporating CAC has been developed.
OBJECTIVES - The goal of this study was to derive and validate a novel risk score to estimate 10-year CHD risk using CAC and traditional risk factors.
METHODS - Algorithm development was conducted in the MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis), a prospective community-based cohort study of 6,814 participants age 45 to 84 years, who were free of clinical heart disease at baseline and followed for 10 years. MESA is sex balanced and included 39% non-Hispanic whites, 12% Chinese Americans, 28% African Americans, and 22% Hispanic Americans. External validation was conducted in the HNR (Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study) and the DHS (Dallas Heart Study).
RESULTS - Inclusion of CAC in the MESA risk score offered significant improvements in risk prediction (C-statistic 0.80 vs. 0.75; p < 0.0001). External validation in both the HNR and DHS studies provided evidence of very good discrimination and calibration. Harrell's C-statistic was 0.779 in HNR and 0.816 in DHS. Additionally, the difference in estimated 10-year risk between events and nonevents was approximately 8% to 9%, indicating excellent discrimination. Mean calibration, or calibration-in-the-large, was excellent for both studies, with average predicted 10-year risk within one-half of a percent of the observed event rate.
CONCLUSIONS - An accurate estimate of 10-year CHD risk can be obtained using traditional risk factors and CAC. The MESA risk score, which is available online on the MESA web site for easy use, can be used to aid clinicians when communicating risk to patients and when determining risk-based treatment strategies.
Copyright © 2015 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Patients with histories of myocardial infarction display shortened leukocyte telomere length (LTL), but conflicting findings have been reported on the relation between LTL and subclinical coronary artery atherosclerosis, as expressed by coronary artery calcium (CAC). The aim of this study was to examine the relation between LTL, measured by Southern blots, and CAC in 3,169 participants in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study. Participants consisted of 2,556 whites, 613 blacks, 1,790 women, and 1,379 men. The odds of having CAC ≥100 for the shortest LTL tertile versus the longest LTL tertile were 1.95 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.28 to 3.16) in white men and 1.76 (95% CI 1.18 to 2.45) in white women, after adjusting for multiple covariates of CAC. The corresponding odds ratios for blacks were 1.53 (95% CI 0.67 to 3.50) and 0.87 (95% CI 0.37 to 2.00). Significance levels of tests for trend across LTL tertiles were p = 0.002 in white men, p = 0.006 in white women, p = 0.32 in black men, and p = 0.74 in black women. The associations, or lack of associations, were independent of C-reactive protein levels and other risk factors for CAC. As previously shown in other studies, whites displayed shorter LTLs than blacks (p <0.0001). In conclusion, the higher the coronary artery atherosclerotic burden in whites, the shorter the LTL. This LTL-atherosclerosis connection is not found in blacks. The mechanisms for the racial difference in LTL, CAC, and their interrelations do not seem to be related to inflammation and merit further research.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
PURPOSE - To develop and evaluate a new method for detecting calcium deposits using their characteristic magnetic susceptibility effects on magnetic resonance (MR) images at high fields and demonstrate its potential in practice for detecting breast microcalcifications.
METHODS - Characteristic dipole signatures of calcium deposits were detected in magnetic resonance phase images by computing the cross-correlation between the acquired data and a library of templates containing simulated phase patterns of spherical deposits. The influence of signal-to-noise ratio and various other MR parameters on the results were assessed using simulations and validated experimentally. The method was tested experimentally for detection of calcium fragments within gel phantoms and calcium-like inhomogeneities within chicken tissue at 7 T with optimized MR acquisition parameters. The method was also evaluated for detection of simulated microcalcifications, modeled from biopsy samples of malignant breast cancer, inserted in silico into breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRIs) of healthy subjects at 7 T. For both assessments of calcium fragments in phantoms and biopsy-based simulated microcalcifications in breast MRIs, receiver operator characteristic curve analyses were performed to determine the cross-correlation index cutoff, for achieving optimal sensitivity and specificity, and the area under the curve (AUC), for measuring the method's performance.
RESULTS - The method detected calcium fragments with sizes of 0.14-0.79 mm, 1 mm calcium-like deposits, and simulated microcalcifications with sizes of 0.4-1.0 mm in images with voxel sizes between (0.2 mm)(3) and (0.6 mm)(3). In images acquired at 7 T with voxel sizes of (0.2 mm)(3)-(0.4 mm)(3), calcium fragments (size 0.3-0.4 mm) were detected with a sensitivity, specificity, and AUC of 78%-90%, 51%-68%, and 0.77%-0.88%, respectively. In images acquired with a human 7 T scanner, acquisition times below 12 min, and voxel sizes of (0.4 mm)(3)-(0.6 mm)(3), simulated microcalcifications with sizes of 0.6-1.0 mm were detected with a sensitivity, specificity, and AUC of 75%-87%, 54%-87%, and 0.76%-0.90%, respectively. However, different microcalcification shapes were indistinguishable.
CONCLUSIONS - The new method is promising for detecting relatively large microcalcifications (i.e., 0.6-0.9 mm) within the breast at 7 T in reasonable times. Detection of smaller deposits at high field may be possible with higher spatial resolution, but such images require relatively long scan times. Although mammography can detect and distinguish the shape of smaller microcalcifications with superior sensitivity and specificity, this alternative method does not expose tissue to ionizing radiation, is not affected by breast density, and can be combined with other MRI methods (e.g., dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI and diffusion weighted MRI), to potentially improve diagnostic performance.