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J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2019 Mar;28(3):830-837. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2018.11.027. Epub 2018 Dec 15.

Evaluating the Efficacy of Atorvastatin on Patients with Carotid Plaque by an Innovative Ultrasonography.

Author information

1
Department of Ultrasound, Pudong New Area People's Hospital affiliated to Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Shanghai, China.
2
Department of Internal Medicine, Pudong New Area People's Hospital affiliated to Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Shanghai, China.
3
Department of Neurology, Pudong New Area People's Hospital affiliated to Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Shanghai, China.
4
Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Pudong New Area People's Hospital affiliated to Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Shanghai, China.
5
Department of Ultrasound, Pudong New Area People's Hospital affiliated to Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Shanghai, China. Electronic address: Quan_JMD@126.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The present study aimed to explore the efficacy of atorvastatin on patients with carotid plaque, applying superb microvascular imaging (SMI), and contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) for evaluating carotid intraplaque neovascularization.

METHODS:

A total of 82 patients (82 carotid plaques) who were randomized into treatment group and control group underwent conventional ultrasound, CEUS, and SMI examinations. Patients in treatment group received a dose of 20 mg atorvastatin per day for 6 months while those in control group received placebo instead. Lipid parameters were assessed and intraplaque neovascularization were evaluated by CEUS and SMI before and 6 months after atorvastatin treatment.

RESULTS:

No significant differences were found between the 2 groups at the study entry. Patients with atorvastatin treatment received marked improvement in total cholesterol, triglyceride, and LDL-cholesterol compared with those in control group (P < .001). In treatment group, SMI-detected intraplaque neovascularization reduced from 69.23% to 48.72% while CEUS-detected ones reduced from 76.92% to 69.23%. By contrast, the percentage of intraplaque neovascularization in control group did not change too much either by SMI (65.12%, 67.44%) or CEUS (74.41%, 74.41%). The consistency between CEUS and SMI was above .75 at all assessments (P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Atorvastatin treatment works for patients with carotid plaque by reducing LDL-cholesterol and improving plaque regression. Second, the consistency between SMI and CEUS in visualizing intraplaque neovascularization is good. That indicates a high possibility to identify carotid plaque instability by a safer and cheaper ultrasonography without contrast agent.

KEYWORDS:

Carotid plaque; atorvastatin; contrast-enhanced ultrasonography; intraplaque neovascularization; superb microvascular imaging

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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