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Rivista di Angiologia
Official Journal of the , the International Union of Phlebology and the
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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International Angiology 2014 Febbraio;33(1):50-7
Usefulness of automatic measurement of contrast flow intensity: an innovative tool in contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging of atherosclerotic carotid plaque neovascularization. A pilot study
Lisowska A. 1, Knapp M. 1, Tycinska A. 1, Sawicki R. 1, Kralisz P. 2, Lisowski P. 3, Sobkowicz B. 1, Musial W. J. 1 ✉
1 Department of Cardiology, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland;
2 Department of Invasive Cardiology, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland;
3 Department of Cardiac Surgery, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland
Aim: Contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging of the carotid arteries (CECU) permits direct, real-time visualization of neovascularization in atherosclerotic plaques and is a confirmed predictor of unstable atheromatous lesions. The aim of the study was the assessment of a new, automatically measured index of intensity in quantitative estimation of the contrast flow through the carotid plaque (till now assessed only visually).
Methods: Forty-four patients (mean age 70.4±11.4) with ultrasound diagnosed significant stenosis of internal carotid artery (ICA), after cerebrovascular or cardiovascular events, qualified for carotid artery stenting (CAS) were examined. The carotid ultrasound examinations with contrast agent Sonovue were performed.
Results: Visually in 22 patients (50%) contrast flow through the atherosclerotic plaques was found. In 17 patients (38.6%) massive, calcified atherosclerotic plaques were present. Patients with preserved contrast flow through the plaque more frequently had a history of cerebral stroke (P=0.04). Massive calcifications of atherosclerotic plaques correlated with a previous MI (P=0.03) and the degree of advancement of coronary artery disease (P=0.04), but not with a previous cerebral stroke. Contrast flow through the atherosclerotic plaque positively correlated with values of the index of intensity (r=0.69, P<0.00001). In patients with preserved contrast flow the mean value of the index of intensity was 22.24±3.55 dB as compared with 12.37±7.67 dB - a value present in patients without preserved contrast flow. No significant relation for the degree of calcifications and the value of the index of intensity was found.
Conclusion: The assessment of the index of intensity is a novel, simple and automatic method to estimate the degree of contrast flow through the carotid plaque. The values of the index of intensity correlate with the contrast flow through the atherosclerotic plaque, but not with its calcification.