Aims: Patients with cyanotic congenital heart disease (CCHD) have been suggested to develop less atherosclerosis than the general population. This study aimed to evaluate the extent of coronary atherosclerosis in patients with CCHD using intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS).
Methods and results: Fifteen patients with CCHD (women, 9; median age, 53 years) and 14 acyanotic controls (women, 6; median age, 53 years) were examined with IVUS-NIRS of the right coronary artery (RCA). The patients with CCHD presented with a larger RCA diameter than the controls (external elastic membrane diameter, 6.1 [4.8-6.7] vs. 4.7 [4.1-5.1] mm, respectively; p=0.01). No difference in area stenosis was found between the patients and the controls (15.8% [12.3-19.7] vs. 15.2% [9.5-18.8]; p=0.87). The presence of lipid by NIRS was noted in 43% of patients with CCHD and in 92% of the controls; however, no differences in total or max 4 mm lipid core burden index (LCBI) or in plasma lipid profile were found.
Conclusions: Patients with CCHD presented with larger coronary arteries than acyanotic controls. No difference in the degree of area stenosis in the coronary arteries was found between the cyanotic and acyanotic patients; however, a lower proportion of patients with CCHD showed a positive LCBI.