Background—Although atrial fibrillation (AF) has been linked to underlying coronary artery disease (CAD), data
supporting this association have been based on ECG and clinical history for the definition of CAD rather than direct visualization of atherosclerosis.
Methods and Results—The prevalence of CAD among patients with paroxysmal or persistent AF and without history of
CAD was evaluated using multislice computed tomography. Multislice computed tomography was performed in 150
patients with AF (61_11 years, 67% males, 58% asymptomatic) with predominantly low (59%) or intermediate (25%)
pretest likelihood of CAD. CAD was classified as obstructive (_50% luminal narrowing) or not. A population of 148 patients without history of AF, similar to the AF group as to age, gender, symptomatic status, and pretest likelihood, served as a control group. Logistic regression analysis was applied to evaluate the relationship between demographic and clinical data and the presence of obstructive CAD. On the basis of multislice computed tomography, 18% of patients with AF were classified as having no CAD, whereas 41% showed nonobstructive CAD and the remaining 41% had obstructive CAD. Among patients without AF, 32% were classified as having no CAD, whereas 41% showed nonobstructive CAD and 27% had obstructive CAD (P_0.010 compared with patients with AF). At logistic regression analysis, age, male gender, and the presence of AF were significantly related to obstructive CAD.
Conclusion—A higher prevalence of obstructive CAD was observed among patients with AF, confirming the hypothesis
that AF could be a marker of advanced coronary atherosclerosis. (Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2009;2:100-106.)