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Prevalence of Achilles tendon xanthoma and familial hypercholesterolemia in patients with coronary artery disease undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention


Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is reportedly associated with the development of coronary artery disease (CAD), especially acute coronary syndrome (ACS). However, the prevalence of FH in patients with stable CAD is still unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Achilles tendon xanthoma (ATX) and heterozygous FH in patients with stable CAD and ACS undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). A total of 423 patients with CAD (273 stable CAD and 150 ACS) undergoing PCI at Chiba University Hospital between June 2016 and February 2018 were enrolled in this study. Soft X-ray radiography of the Achilles tendon was performed in all patients, and a maximum thickness of 9 mm or more is regarded as ATX. Heterozygous FH was diagnosed according to the Japan Atherosclerosis Society Guidelines. In comparisons between stable CAD and ACS patients, ATX was observed in 9.2% vs. 15.3% (p = 0.055), and heterozygous FH was diagnosed in 3.7% vs. 5.3% (p = 0.416), respectively. Among ACS patients, those with ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) showed the highest prevalence of ATX (19.5%) and FH (7.3%). Whereas ATX and heterozygous FH were considerably observed in patients with ACS, a certain number of ATX and heterozygous FH were also detected in stable CAD patients.

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This study was not funded by any organizations or sponsors.

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Correspondence to Hideki Kitahara.

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Kitahara, H., Mori, N., Saito, Y. et al. Prevalence of Achilles tendon xanthoma and familial hypercholesterolemia in patients with coronary artery disease undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention. Heart Vessels 34, 1595–1599 (2019).

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  • Coronary artery disease
  • Familial hypercholesterolemia
  • Achilles tendon xanthoma