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Scand Cardiovasc J. 2009;43(5):345-51.

Microembolic signals and carotid plaque characteristics in patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis.

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1
Department of Ultrasound, First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate the association between carotid plaque characteristics and the occurrence of cerebral microemboli signals (MES) and subsequent ischemic events in patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis (ACS).

DESIGN:

Sixty-two asymptomatic patients with 50-99% carotid stenosis underwent transcranial Doppler (TCD) monitoring to determine the relationship between MES and plaque characteristics. The patients were followed for 1 year, and the incidence of transient ischemic attack (TIA)/stroke was studied.

RESULTS:

MES were found in 10/62 of the patients at baseline, and there was a significant difference between the patients with moderate stenosis and those with severe stenosis on the presence of MES (p = 0.016). Furthermore, MES were more frequently found in patients with irregular and/or heterogeneous plaques than in those with regular (p = 0.028) and/or homogeneous plaques (p = 0.021). The incidence of TIA/stroke occurred more frequently in patients with MES than those without MES (p = 0.009). The proportion of progressive carotid stenosis was 4/50 in the patients with 50-99% stenosis during 1 year follow-up.

CONCLUSION:

Asymptomatic patients (with 50-99% carotid stenosis) with MES presented a significantly increased frequency of severe stenosis, with irregular and heterogeneous plaques.

PMID:
19863395
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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