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Carotid plaque surface echogenicity predicts cerebrovascular events: An Echographic Multicentric Swiss Study

Journal Paper/Review - Jul 18, 2022

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Sztajzel R, Engelter S, Bonati L, Mono M, Slezak A, Kurmann R, Nedeltchev K, Gensicke H, Traenka C, Baumgartner R, Bonvin C, Hirt L, Medlin F, Burow A, Kägi G, Kapauer M, Vehoff J, Lovblad K, Curtin F, Lyrer P. Carotid plaque surface echogenicity predicts cerebrovascular events: An Echographic Multicentric Swiss Study. J Neuroimaging 2022
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Journal Paper/Review (English)
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J Neuroimaging 2022
Publication Date
Jul 18, 2022
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Issn Electronic
1552-6569
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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
To determine the prognostic value for ischemic stroke or transitory ischemic attack (TIA) of plaque surface echogenicity alone or combined to degree of stenosis in a Swiss multicenter cohort METHODS: Patients with ≥60% asymptomatic or ≥50% symptomatic carotid stenosis were included. Grey-scale based colour mapping was obtained of the whole plaque and of its surface defined as the regions between the lumen and respectively 0-0.5, 0-1, 0-1.5, and 0-2 mm of the outer border of the plaque. Red, yellow and green colour represented low, intermediate or high echogenicity. Proportion of red color on surface (PRCS) reflecting low echogenictiy was considered alone or combined to degree of stenosis (Risk index, RI).

RESULTS
We included 205 asymptomatic and 54 symptomatic patients. During follow-up (median/mean 24/27.7 months) 27 patients experienced stroke or TIA. In the asymptomatic group, RI ≥0.25 and PRCS ≥79% predicted stroke or TIA with a hazard ratio (HR) of respectively 8.7 p = 0.0001 and 10.2 p < 0.0001. In the symptomatic group RI ≥0.25 and PRCS ≥81% predicted stroke or TIA occurrence with a HR of respectively 6.1 p = 0.006 and 8.9 p = 0.001. The best surface parameter was located at 0-0.5mm. Among variables including age, sex, degree of stenosis, stenosis progression, RI, PRCS, grey median scale values and clinical baseline status, only PRCS independently prognosticated stroke (p = 0.005).

CONCLUSION
In this pilot study including patients with at least moderate degree of carotid stenosis, PRCS (0-0.5mm) alone or combined to degree of stenosis strongly predicted occurrence of subsequent cerebrovascular events.