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Color doppler ultrasonography and multislice computer tomography angiography in carotid plaque detection and characterization

Author(s): Vučaj-Ćirilović Viktorija | Lučić Miloš | Petrović Kosta | Nikolić Olivera | Govorčin Mira | Stojanović Sanja

Journal: Vojnosanitetski Pregled
ISSN 0042-8450

Volume: 68;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 423;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: ultrasonography | doppler | color | cerebral angiography | carotid artery diseases | carotid stenosis | tomography | x ray computed

Beckground/Aim. Cerebrovascular diseases are the third leading cause of mortality in the world, following malignant and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, their timely and precise diagnostics is of great importance. The aim of this study was to compare duplex scan Color Doppler ultrasonography (CDU) with multislice computed tomography angiography (MSCTA) in detection of morphological and functional disorders at extracranial level of carotid arteries. Methods. The study included 75 patients with 150 carotid arteries examined in the period from January 2008 to April 2009. The patients were firstly examined by CDU, then MSCTA, followed by the surgery of extracranial segment of carotid arteries. In 10 patients, the obtained material was referred for histopathological (HP) examination. We used both CDU and MSCT in the analysis of: plaque surface, plaque structure, degree of stenosis, and the presence of intraplaque hemorrhage. Results. The results obtained by CDU and MSCTA were first compared between themselves, and then to intraoperative findings. Retrospective analysis showed that MSCTA is more sensitive than CDU in assessment of plaque surface (for smooth plaques CDU 89% : MSCTA 97%; for plaques with irregular surface CDU 75% : MSCTA 87%; for ulcerations CDU 54% : MSCTA 87%). Regarding determination of plaque structure (mixed plaque CDU 66% : MSCTA 70%; correlation with HP findings CDU 94% : MSCTA 96%) and localization (CDU 63% : MSCTA 65%), and in terms of sensitivity and specificity, both methods showed almost the same results. Also, there is no statistical difference between these two methods for the degree of stenosis (CDU 96% : MSCTA 98%). Conclusion. Atherosclerotic disease of extracranial part of carotid arteries primarily affects population of middle-aged and elderly, showing more associated risk factors. Sensitivity and specificity of CDU and MSCTA regarding plaque composition, the degree of stenosis and plaque localization are almost the same. These results and the fact that there are no adverse effects (high radiation dose) compared to MSCTA indicate that CDU should be the initial method in diagnostic algorythm for carotid arteries.
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