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Radiology. 2006 Aug;240(2):464-72.

Comparison of symptomatic and asymptomatic atherosclerotic carotid plaque features with in vivo MR imaging.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, University of Washington, 815 Mercer St, Box 358050, Seattle, WA 98109, USA. Tobias.Saam@med.uni-muenchen.de

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To retrospectively determine if in vivo magnetic resonance (MR) imaging can simultaneously depict differences between symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid atherosclerotic plaque.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Institutional review board approval and informed consent were obtained for this HIPAA-compliant study. Twenty-three patients (21 men, two women; mean age, 66.1 years +/- 11.0 [standard deviation]) with unilateral symptomatic carotid disease underwent 1.5-T time-of-flight MR angiography and 1.5-T T1-, intermediate-, and T2-weighted MR imaging. Both carotid arteries were reviewed. One observer recorded quantitative and morphologic information, which included measurement of the area of the lumen, artery wall, and main plaque components; fibrous cap status (thick, thin, or ruptured); American Heart Association (AHA) lesion type (types I-VIII); and location (juxtaluminal vs intraplaque) and type of hemorrhage. Plaques associated with neurologic symptoms and asymptomatic plaques were compared with Wilcoxon signed rank and McNemar tests.

RESULTS:

Compared with asymptomatic plaques, symptomatic plaques had a higher incidence of fibrous cap rupture (P = .007), juxtaluminal hemorrhage or thrombus (P = .039), type I hemorrhage (P = .021), and complicated AHA type VI lesions (P = .004) and a lower incidence of uncomplicated AHA type IV and V lesions (P = .005). Symptomatic plaques also had larger hemorrhage (P = .003) and loose matrix (P = .014) areas and a smaller lumen area (P = .008). No significant differences between symptomatic and asymptomatic plaques were found for quantitative measurements of the lipid-rich necrotic core, calcification, and the vessel wall or for the occurrence of intraplaque hemorrhage or type II hemorrhage.

CONCLUSION:

This study revealed significant differences between symptomatic and asymptomatic plaques in the same patient.

PMID:
16864672
PMCID:
PMC1797417
DOI:
10.1148/radiol.2402050390
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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