Carotid artery intraplaque hemorrhage and stenotic velocity.
One of the proposed mechanisms for sudden expansion of a carotid bifurcation plaque is hemorrhage within the lesion. It has been postulated that the sudden increase in plaque size will acutely reduce blood flow to the ipsilateral hemisphere and induce either a transient ischemic attack or a stroke. In this study, the relation between peak systolic velocity at the site of narrowing and its potential role in the development of intraplaque hemorrhage were investigated.
Ten patients who had carotid endarterectomy were examined by duplex Doppler sonography before surgery to determine the peak systolic velocity at the site of maximal narrowing. The excised carotid plaques were sectioned at 1-mm intervals and examined for histological evidence of intraplaque hemorrhage. The recorded peak systolic velocities in patients with intraplaque hemorrhage were compared with the velocities in cases in which no hemorrhage was identified.
Five of the ten patients had intraplaque hemorrhage. Four of the five patients with intraplaque hemorrhage had a peak systolic velocity of > 420 cm/sec and diastolic velocities of > 160 cm/sec; none of the patients without intraplaque hemorrhage had such high values.
Peak systolic velocity is significantly higher in patients with intraplaque hemorrhage. The specificity and sensitivity of a peak systolic velocity of > 420 cm/sec in predicting intraplaque hemorrhage remains to be determined.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association