Three-Dimensional Ultrasound of Carotid Plaque
Neuroimaging Clinics of North America
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Measurement of plaque burden is different from measurement of carotid intima-media thickness (IMT). Carotid total plaque area is a stronger predictor of cardiovascular risk than IMT, and in contrast to progression of IMT, which does not predict cardiovascular events, progression of total plaque area and total plaque volume strongly predict cardiovascular events. Measurement of plaque burden is useful in genetic research, and in evaluation of new therapies for atherosclerosis. Perhaps more importantly, it can be used for management of patients. A strategy called "treating arteries instead of treating risk factors" markedly reduces risk among patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis.
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