I am
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Pericoronary fat attenuation index and coronary inflammation

Associate Professor Dennis Thiam Leong Wong, Institution: Monash University

2019 Future Leader Fellowship

Years funded: 2020-2023


Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the largest single cause of death in Australia and acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is responsible for much of its mortality and morbidity burden. ACS is usually due to rupture of high risk (HRP), inflamed but non-obstructive atherosclerotic plaque. Despite optimal lipid lowering therapy, patients with residual inflammatory risk still develop recurrent ACS. There is therefore a need for a non-invasive modality that can detect vascular inflammation and assess plaque morphology. Pericoronary fat attenuation index (FAI) is a new computed-tomography- coronary-angiography (CCTA) derived novel imaging biomarker which captures coronary inflammation by mapping spatial changes of pericoronary fat attenuation.

The advancement of CCTA provides an accurate and reproducible imaging tool by which HRP can be detected, characterised and quantified non-invasively and serially over time. I am an interventional cardiologist who is an international expert in CCTA assessment of: 
  1. plaque morphology
  2. vascular inflammation and
  3. functional significance of coronary artery stenosis.

I had recently demonstrated that plaque progression assessment on CCTA is comparable to intravascular ultrasound (IVUS). My research will assess: 
  1. whether FAI and plaque morphology assessment can identify patients that will develop future AC
  2. the impact of statin therapy on FAI in culprit and non-culprit vessels after myocardial infarction
  3. impact of statin on inflamed plaques with mild stenosis and
  4. whether colchicine can make HRPs more stable and less inflammatory. My research will help translate the advancement of plaque morphology and inflammation assessment on CCTA to 1) better risk stratify patients with (or at risk for) coronary artery disease 2) better treat patients with HRP who at risk of future ACS.

You might also be interested in

Research Directory

Research Directory

A program of research to improve ACCESS to cardiovascular care

A program of research to improve ACCESS to cardiovascular care

Professor Robyn Clark, Institution: Flinders University...

Altering the rehabilitation environment to improve stroke survivor activity (AREISSA)

Altering the rehabilitation environment to improve stroke survivor activity (AREISSA)

Assistant Professor Neil Spratt, Institution: The University of Newcastle...

Constructing Aboriginal health: a review of cardiovascular research, 1933-2014

Constructing Aboriginal health: a review of cardiovascular research, 1933-2014

Ms Joanne Luke, Institution: University of Melbourne...

Exercise and brain volume loss after stroke

Exercise and brain volume loss after stroke

Professor Amy Brodtmann, Institution: Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health...

Growing healthy hearts - how passive smoke exposure and elevated blood pressure early in life impacts adult cardiovascular health

Growing healthy hearts - how passive smoke exposure and elevated blood pressure early in life impacts adult cardiovascular health

Growing healthy hearts - how passive smoke exposure and elevated blood pressure early in life impacts adult cardiovascular health

Dr Costan Magnussen, Institution: University of Tasmania...

Lipid disorders in patients at high cardiovascular disease risk

Lipid disorders in patients at high cardiovascular disease risk

Dr Esther Ooi, Institution: University of Western Australia...

Promoting active, healthy lifestyles among women at key life stages

Promoting active, healthy lifestyles among women at key life stages

Associate Professor Verity Cleland, Institution: University of Tasmania...

Reducing population salt consumption in Victoria

Reducing population salt consumption in Victoria

Reducing population salt consumption in Victoria

Professor Bruce Neal, Institution: University of New South Wales...

Starting early – Increasing young children’s physical activity

Starting early – Increasing young children’s physical activity

Associate Professor Hayley Christian, Institution: University of Western Australia...

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Christmas Appeal

Christmas Appeal

Christmas Appeal

Make a donation to our Christmas Appeal on behalf of a family member or a loved one and receive a personalised eCard to let them know....

Looking for that perfect gift?

Looking for that perfect gift?

Looking for that perfect gift?

Make a donation to our Christmas Appeal on behalf of a family member or a loved one and receive a personalised eCard to let them know....

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

Time to book a Heart Health Check?

If you're 45 and over, or 30 and over if you're of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, you should book your Heart Health Check today...

Vegetarian recipes

Vegetarian recipes

Vegetarian recipes

Search through our vegetarian recipes...

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Fundraise to save Australian hearts

Join our community of fundraisers who are committed to taking action to fight heart disease....

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Key healthy eating messages for heart attack recovery 

Eating healthy foods can help you recover and reduce your risk of more heart problems. ...

Key Statistics: Heart attack

Key Statistics: Heart attack

Statistics and information on heart attack in Australia...

Lipid management clinical information and resources

Lipid management clinical information and resources

Lipid management resources for health professionals...

Atrial fibrillation resources for patients

Atrial fibrillation resources for patients

What is heart disease?

What is heart disease?

What is heart disease?

Heart disease is the broad term for conditions that affect the structure and function of the heart muscle. ...

Heart attack recovery – your first month

Heart attack recovery – your first month

Heart attack recovery – your first month

Explore the Heart Foundation’s guide on what to expect in the first month after your heart attack. ...

What is a cardiac arrest?

What is a cardiac arrest?

What is a cardiac arrest?

With immediate help a cardiac arrest can be survived. Learn how to save a life....

2022 Postdoctoral Fellowship

2022 Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Postdoctoral Fellowship aims to identify the best and brightest (recent) PhD graduates, give them a boost to their research career and enhance their ability to attract and secure future funding....

Physical activity after a heart attack

Physical activity after a heart attack

Physical activity after a heart attack

Discover what you need to know about being active after a heart attack....

Why are you playing this game? It’s putting your heart at risk.

Why are you playing this game? It’s putting your heart at risk.

Why are you playing this game? It’s putting your heart at risk.

The game is “hide and seek”. You play it without even realising. The shock is that when you play this game, you could be placing your heart health at risk....

For professionals: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples identification training

For professionals: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples identification training

Asking the Question of Origin course helps with identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, in line with standard practice.  ...

Heart Week

Heart Week

Thai chicken lettuce cups

Thai chicken lettuce cups

Thai chicken lettuce cups

10 minutes
Serves 2

Chest x-ray for heart disease

Chest x-ray for heart disease

Chest x-ray for heart disease

This test can help your doctor determine if there is anything wrong with your heart....

Cardiac Rehabilitation for Health Professionals - Patient Resources

Cardiac Rehabilitation for Health Professionals - Patient Resources

Asian recipes

Asian recipes

Asian recipes

Find heart healthy Asian recipes....

Nutrition after a heart attack

Nutrition after a heart attack

Nutrition after a heart attack

Discover key information on heart-healthy eating and drinking....

Apricot & pecan muffin bars

Apricot & pecan muffin bars

Apricot & pecan muffin bars

30 minutes
Serves 8

Physical activity resources for patients and consumers

Physical activity resources for patients and consumers

Physical activity information for professionals...

Women's Health Week: Put your heart and mind first

Women's Health Week: Put your heart and mind first

Women's Health Week: Put your heart and mind first

Philanthropic investments

Philanthropic investments

Philanthropic investments

Making philanthropic investments through the Heart Foundation can transform Australians’ health. ...

Action Plans

Action Plans

Action Plans

Recovery is a long journey, so having a plan makes a huge difference. Using an action plan gives you a step-by-step guide to improving your lifestyle....

2022 Collaboration and Exchange Award

2022 Collaboration and Exchange Award

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart health information and resources

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart health information and resources

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart health information and resources

Heart disease can occur 10 to 20 years earlier among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and can lead to long-term health problems. ...