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Cerebrovasc Dis Extra. 2011 Jan-Dec;1(1):54-65. doi: 10.1159/000328645. Epub 2011 May 31.

Plaque vulnerability in internal carotid arteries with positive remodeling.

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Department of Neurology, Nagoya City University, Nagoya, Japan.



This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of assessing positive remodeling for predicting future stroke events in the internal carotid artery. We therefore assessed narrowing of the carotid artery lumen using multidetector-row computer tomography (MDCT) angiography and carotid plaque characteristics using black-blood (BB) magnetic resonance (MR).


We retrospectively selected 17 symptomatic and 11 asymptomatic lesions with luminal narrowing >50%. We compared remodeling parameters of luminal stenosis (remodeling ratio, RR/remodeling index, RI) using MDCT and MR intensities of atherosclerotic plaque contents using the BB technique (relative signal intensity, rSI). We also confirmed the validity of the relationship between MR intensity and atherosclerotic plaque contents by histology. The levels of biological markers related to vessel atherosclerosis were measured.


Plaque lesions with positive remodeling in carotid arteries were associated with a significantly higher prevalence of stroke compared with plaques with negative remodeling (p < 0.05). Radiologic and histologic analyses determined that plaques with positive remodeling had higher signal intensities (with respect to their lipid-rich content or to hemorrhage) compared with negative remodeling (correlation coefficients: RI and rSI, r = 0.41, p < 0.05; RR and rSI, r = 0.50, p < 0.05). Levels of biological markers, including high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, hemoglobin A1C, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, were not useful for predicting stroke events.


The results of this study suggest that the combined analysis of RR, RI and rSI could potentially help to predict future stroke events.


Black-blood magnetic resonance image; Carotid artery; Multidetector-row computer tomography; Plaque vulnerability; Positive remodeling

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