Vol 18, No 4 (2011)
Original articles
Published online: 2011-07-15

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Total white blood cell count is associated with the presence, severity and extent of coronary atherosclerosis detected by dual-source multislice computed tomographic coronary angiography

Ahmet Hakan Ates, Ugur Canpolat, Hikmet Yorgun, Ergun Baris Kaya, Hamza Sunman, Edis Demiri, Ali Taher, Tuncay Hazirolan, Kudret Aytemir, Lale Tokgözoglu, Giray Kabakçi, Ali Oto
Cardiol J 2011;18(4):371-377.

Abstract

Background: Total white blood cell (WBC) count has been consistently shown to be an independent risk factor and predictor for future cardiovascular outcomes, regardless of disease status in coronary artery disease (CAD). The purpose of this study is to evaluate the relationship between total WBC count and the presence, severity and extent of coronary atherosclerosis detected in subjects undergoing multislice computed tomographic (MSCT) coronary angiography for suspected CAD.
Methods: A total of 817 patients were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. Non-significant coronary plaque was defined as lesions causing £ 50% luminal narrowing, and significant coronary plaque was defined as lesions causing > 50% luminal narrowing. For each segment, coronary atherosclerotic lesions were categorized as none, calcified, non-calcified and mixed. All images were interpreted immediately after scanning by an experienced radiologist.
Results: An association between hypertension, diabetes mellitus, age, gender, hyperlipidemia, smoking, total WBC counts and coronary atherosclerosis was found when patients were grouped into two categories according to the presence of coronary atherosclerosis (p < 0.05). Although plaque morphology was not associated with total WBC counts, the extent of coronary atherosclerosis was increased with higher total WBC quartiles (p = 0.006). Patients with critical luminal stenosis had higher levels of total WBC counts when compared to patients with non-critical luminal narrowing (7,982 ± 2,287 vs 7,184 ± 1,944, p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that total WBC counts play an important role in inflammation and are associated with the presence, severity and extent of coronary atherosclerosis detected by MSCT. Further studies are needed to assess the true impact of WBC counts on coronary atherosclerosis, and to promote its use in predicting CAD. (Cardiol J 2011; 18, 4: 371–377)

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