High Inflammation and Coronary Calcification in an Acute Coronary Syndrome Successfully Treated with Cutting Balloon

DOI: 10.2478/jce-2023-0015

Complex coronary atherosclerosis may exhibit different phenotypes of coronary plaques, from non-calcified highly vulnerable atheroma to heavily calcified ones. Computed coronary tomography angiography (CCTA) may identify these different phenotypes and the recently introduced CCTA-based techniques for mapping coronary inflammation along the coronary arteries may provide useful additional information on cardiovascular risk. Here we present the case of a 68-year-old male patient with acute coronary syndrome in whom invasive coronary angiography and CCTA revealed a severe three-vessel disease with a heavily calcified lesion. Mapping of the CT fat attenuation index along the coronary arteries identified a high level of coronary inflammation, especially associated with the non-calcified lesions. All lesions were successfully revascularized by implantation of drug-eluting stents. A cutting balloon was used for the lesion identified by CCTA as heavily calcified, followed by stent implantation, with good results. In conclusion, CCTA, in association with novel techniques for mapping coronary inflammation, may represent an extremely useful tool for preparing complex interventions in multivessel diseases, helping preprocedural planning in high-risk patients.