Constantine N. Antonopoulos, Triantafillos G. Giannakopoulos, Ioannis Vassilopoulos, George Sfyroeras, Konstantinos G. Moulakakis, John D. Kakisis, Christos D. Liapis
Athens University Medical School, Attikon University Hospital, Haidari, Greece.
OBJECTIVES: Internal carotid artery (ICA) occlusion is associated with acute stroke and carries significant morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to examine whether ultrasonographic carotid plaque type may be an independent risk factor for ICA occlusion
METHODS: During a 25-year period, 211 consecutive patients (85% males, mean age 66.01+/- 9.52) with ICA occlusion were included in this case-control study. Ultrasonographic Gray-Weale plaque type (I-V, echolucent to echogenic) characterization was obtained in both occluded and contralateral ICA. Each carotid artery with stenosis was treated as control to the occluded contralateral ICA of the same patient
RESULTS: A total of 261 carotid arteries (61.8%) were recorded with type I-II plaque type. Of the occluded ICAs 165/211 had a type I-II plaque, while 96/211 of the contralaterals (p<0.001). Univariate analysis showed that carotid plaque type I-II significantly increased the risk for carotid artery occlusion (OR=4.29, 95% CI=2.81-6.57, p<0.001) compared to plaque type III-IV.
CONCLUSIONS: Echolucent plaques are associated with increased risk of carotid artery occlusion. Carotid duplex ultrasound may help identifying the subgroup of patients with carotid stenosis that are more prone to occlusion.
AUTHOR DISCLOSURES: C. N. Antonopoulos, Nothing to disclose; T. G. Giannakopoulos, Nothing to disclose; J. D. Kakisis, Nothing to disclose; C. D. Liapis, Nothing to disclose; K. G. Moulakakis, Nothing to disclose; G. Sfyroeras, Nothing to disclose; I. Vassilopoulos, Nothing to disclose.
Posted April 2012