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Eur Radiol. 2016 Jan;26(1):72-8. doi: 10.1007/s00330-015-3753-9. Epub 2015 Sep 25.

Longitudinal assessment of carotid atherosclerosis after Radiation Therapy using Computed Tomography: A case control Study.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, University of Rome la Sapienza, Rome, Italy.
2
Monitoring and Diagnostic Division, AtheroPoint(TM) LLC, Roseville, CA, USA / Point of Care Devices, Global Biomedical Technologies, Inc., CA, USA / Electrical Engineering Department (Affl.), University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, USA.
3
Department of Radiology, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria (A.O.U.), di Cagliari, Polo di Monserrato, s.s. 554 Monserrato, Cagliari, 09045, Italy. lucasaba@tiscali.it.
4
Department of Vascular Surgery, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria (A.O.U.), di Cagliari, Polo di Monserrato, s.s. 554 Monserrato, Cagliari, 09045, Italy.
5
Department of Radiology, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, NY, 10016, USA.
6
Department of Radiology, Azienda Ospedaliera Brotzu, Cagliari, 09100, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To study the carotid artery plaque composition and its volume changes in a group of patients at baseline and 2 years after head and neck radiation therapy treatment (HNXRT).

METHODS:

In this retrospective study, 62 patients (41 males; mean age 63 years; range 52-81) who underwent HNXRT and 40 patients (24 males; mean age 65) who underwent surgical resection of neoplasm and did not undergo HNXRT were assessed, with 2-year follow-up. The carotid artery plaque volumes, as well as the volume of the sub-components (fatty-mixed-calcified), were semiautomatically quantified. Mann-Whitney and Wilcoxon tests were used to test the hypothesis.

RESULTS:

In the HNXRT group, there was a statistically significant increase in the total volume of the carotid artery plaques (from 533 to 746 mm(3); p = 0.001), in the fatty plaques (103 vs. 202 mm(3); p = 0.001) and mixed plaque component volume (328 vs. 419 mm(3); p = 0.034). A statistically significant variation (from 21.8 % to 27.6 %) in the percentage of the fatty tissue was found.

CONCLUSIONS:

Results of this preliminary study suggest that HNXRT promotes increased carotid artery plaque volume, particularly the fatty plaque component.

KEY POINTS:

HNXRT increases carotid plaque volume. Plaque volume increase is mainly due to increase.in fatty plaque component. Patients who undergo HNXRT have a progression of carotid artery disease.

KEYWORDS:

Atherosclerosis; Carotid; Computed tomography; Head and neck; Radiation therapy

PMID:
26408306
DOI:
10.1007/s00330-015-3753-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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