Date: 24 Dec 2008

Evaluation of carotid atherosclerotic plaque stability with contrast-enhanced ultrasonography

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This study was aimed to evaluate the relationship between carotid atherosclerotic plaque stability and the clinical symptoms in patients with carotid atherosclerotic plaques by using contrast-enhanced ultrasonography. Fifty patients with carotid atherosclerotic plaques were enrolled and examined with contrast-enhanced ultrasonography. The correlation of contrast agent enhancement of the carotid atherosclerotic plaques and the clinical symptoms was analyzed. The results showed that among the 50 patients, plaques were enhanced in the 23 patients with obvious clinical symptoms. In 27 patients without apparent clinical symptoms, plaques were enhanced sparsely in 15 patients and not enhanced in 12 patients. It was suggested that contrast-enhanced ultrasonography could be used for the examination of the microcirculation in carotid atherosclerotic plaques on real-time basis and serve as a new noninvasive approach for the assessment of stability of carotid atherosclerotic plaques.