Influence of acquired obesity on coronary vessel wall late gadolinium enhancement in discordant monozygote twins

Marcus R. Makowski, Christian H P Jansen, Ullrich Ebersberger, Tobias Schaeffter, Reza Razavi, Massimo Mangino, Tim Spector, Rene M. Botnar, Gerald Greil*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
148 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of BMI on late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) of the coronary artery wall in identical monozygous twins discordant for BMI. Coronary LGE represents a useful parameter for the detection and quantification of atherosclerotic coronary vessel wall disease. Methods: Thirteen monozygote female twin pairs (n = 26) with significantly different BMIs (>1.6 kg/m2) were recruited out of >10,000 twin pairs (TwinsUK Registry). A coronary 3D-T2prep-TFE MR angiogram and 3D-IR-TFE vessel wall scan were performed prior to and following the administration of 0.2 mmol/kg of Gd-DTPA on a 1.5 T MR scanner. The number of enhancing coronary segments and contrast to noise ratios (CNRs) of the coronary wall were quantified. Results: An increase in BMI was associated with an increased number of enhancing coronary segments (5.3 ± 1.5 vs. 3.5 ± 1.6, p <0.0001) and increased coronary wall enhancement (6.1 ± 1.1 vs. 4.8 ± 0.9, p = 0.0027) compared to matched twins with lower BMI. Conclusions: This study in monozygous twins indicates that acquired factors predisposing to obesity, including lifestyle and environmental factors, result in increased LGE of the coronary arteries, potentially reflecting an increase in coronary atherosclerosis in this female study population. Key points: • BMI-discordant twins allow the investigation of the influence of lifestyle factors independent from genetic confounders.• Only thirteen obesity-discordant twins were identified underlining the strong genetic component of BMI.• In female twins, a BMI increase is associated with increased coronary late gadolinium enhancement.• Increased late gadolinium enhancement in the coronary vessel wall potentially reflects increased atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Radiology
Early online date14 Oct 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Oct 2016


  • 3D-IR-TFE
  • Coronary
  • MRI
  • Twin
  • Vessel wall scan


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