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Radiology. 1993 Aug;188(2):363-70.

Sonographic evaluation of carotid artery atherosclerosis in the elderly: relationship of disease severity to stroke and transient ischemic attack.

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Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass.


Doppler and real-time ultrasound (US) were performed to evaluate the extent of atherosclerotic changes in the carotid artery and to assess their relationship to prevalent cerebrovascular disease. Real-time US scans and Doppler measurements of the carotid arteries were analyzed in 5,201 subjects aged 65 years or older. Severity of atherosclerotic lesions was associated with increased frequencies of hyperechoic, irregular, and heterogeneous textured lesions (P < .0001). The severity of internal carotid artery stenosis was associated with thickening of the intima-media layer of the common carotid artery wall (r = .37, P < .0001). A history of stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA) was more likely when hyperechoic, heterogeneous, and irregular lesions were seen in the carotid artery. Internal carotid artery stenosis correlated better with prevalent stroke and TIA than did sonographic descriptions of plaque texture. However, the prevalence of hyperechoic, heterogeneous, and irregular lesions increased as the degree of internal carotid stenosis increased. On real-time images alone, the average of the internal carotid artery maximal wall thickness is the sonographic measure of atherosclerosis that enables the best prediction of prevalent stroke and TIA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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