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Neuroimaging of the Vulnerable Plaque

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Plaque vulnerability due to inflammation has been shown to be a participating factor in the degenerative process in the arterial wall that contributes to stenosis and embolism. This is believed to have an important role to play also in the genesis of stroke or cerebrovascular diseases. In order to appropriately screen patients for treatment, there is an absolute need to directly or indirectly visualize both the normal carotid and the suspected plaque. This can be done with a variety of techniques ranging from ultrasound to computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In addition to angiographic techniques, direct imaging of the plaque can be done either by ultrasound or by the so-called molecular imaging techniques, i.e. positron emission tomography (PET). These findings, together with other clinical and paraclinical parameters should finally guide the therapeutic choice.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Angio CT of the carotids in a patient with bilateral calcifications with a significant stenosis (lateral and axial views).
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Figure 1: Angio CT of the carotids in a patient with bilateral calcifications with a significant stenosis (lateral and axial views).

Mentions: Computed tomography techniques have established themselves as being an important adjunct in the investigation of patients with cerebrovascular diseases [12]. First of all, its capacity to detect brain hemorrhage in unequalled, then its capacity to detect early changes such as brain edema is also very powerful and these two qualities make CT very the examination of choice at least for patients with a cute events. Additionally, and this has been an important evolution in the last two decades, CT angiographic techniques have evolved with the development of spiral CT scanning and multi-detector arrays that allow to cover greater volumes in less time. While the use of an iodinated contrast agent probably contributes to provide with a luminographic effect that most resembles the one obtained with cerebral angiography, additionally, CT is able to most well demonstrate the presence of calcific plaques. Examples of CT images are provided in (Figs. 1-3).


Neuroimaging of the Vulnerable Plaque
Angio CT of the carotids in a patient with bilateral calcifications with a significant stenosis (lateral and axial views).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4997941&req=5

Figure 1: Angio CT of the carotids in a patient with bilateral calcifications with a significant stenosis (lateral and axial views).
Mentions: Computed tomography techniques have established themselves as being an important adjunct in the investigation of patients with cerebrovascular diseases [12]. First of all, its capacity to detect brain hemorrhage in unequalled, then its capacity to detect early changes such as brain edema is also very powerful and these two qualities make CT very the examination of choice at least for patients with a cute events. Additionally, and this has been an important evolution in the last two decades, CT angiographic techniques have evolved with the development of spiral CT scanning and multi-detector arrays that allow to cover greater volumes in less time. While the use of an iodinated contrast agent probably contributes to provide with a luminographic effect that most resembles the one obtained with cerebral angiography, additionally, CT is able to most well demonstrate the presence of calcific plaques. Examples of CT images are provided in (Figs. 1-3).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Plaque vulnerability due to inflammation has been shown to be a participating factor in the degenerative process in the arterial wall that contributes to stenosis and embolism. This is believed to have an important role to play also in the genesis of stroke or cerebrovascular diseases. In order to appropriately screen patients for treatment, there is an absolute need to directly or indirectly visualize both the normal carotid and the suspected plaque. This can be done with a variety of techniques ranging from ultrasound to computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In addition to angiographic techniques, direct imaging of the plaque can be done either by ultrasound or by the so-called molecular imaging techniques, i.e. positron emission tomography (PET). These findings, together with other clinical and paraclinical parameters should finally guide the therapeutic choice.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus