The accuracy of noninvasive imaging techniques in diagnosis of carotid plaque morphology
- Lukanova, N. Nikolov, K. Genova, M. Stankev, E. Valcheva
The stroke is leading cause of death and severe disability worldwide. Atherosclerosis is responsible for over 30% of all ischemic strokes. It has been recently discovered that plaque morphology may help predict the clinical behavior of carotid atherosclerosis and determine the risk of stroke. The noninvasive imaging techniques have been developed to evaluate the vascular wall in anattempt to identify “vulnerable plaques”. The purpose of the study is to investigate the diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound, multidetector computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging in the identification of plaque components associated with plaque vulnerability. One hundred patients were admitted for carotid endarterectomy for high grade carotid stenosis. We defined the diagnostic value of B-mode ultrasound of carotid plaque in a half, and the accuracy of multidetector computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, in the other group, for detection of unstable carotid plaque. The reference standard was histology. Sensitivity of ultrasound, multidetector computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging is 94%, 83% and 100%, and the specificity is 93%, 73% and 89% for detection of unstable carotid plaque. The ultrasound has high accuracy for diagnostics of carotid plaque morphology, magnetic resonance imaging has high potential for tissue differentiation and multidetector computed tomography determines precisely degree of stenosis and presence of ulceration and calcifications. The three noninvasive imaging modalities are complementary for optimal evaluation of the morphology of carotid plaque. This will help to determine the risk of stroke and to decide on the best treatment – carotid endarterectomy or carotid stenting.
Key words: STROKE. NONINVASIVE IMAGING. VULNERABLE PLAQUE