Association of Progression of Carotid Artery Wall Volume and Recurrent Transient Ischemic Attack or Stroke
A Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study
Background and Purpose—This study aimed to investigate the association between carotid plaque progression and subsequent recurrent events using magnetic resonance imaging.
Methods—Sixty-three symptomatic patients with ipsilateral carotid atherosclerotic stenosis (30%–69% stenosis) determined by ultrasound underwent first and second carotid artery magnetic resonance imaging for carotid artery at baseline and ≥6 months after the first scan, respectively. All the patients had clinical follow-up after the second magnetic resonance scan for ≤5 years until the onset of recurrent transient ischemic attack or stroke. Presence/absence of carotid plaque compositional features, particularly intraplaque hemorrhage and fibrous cap rupture was identified. The annual progression of carotid wall volume between 2 magnetic resonance scans was measured. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression was used to calculate the hazard ratio and corresponding 95% confidence interval of carotid plaque features in discriminating recurrent events. Receiver-operating-characteristic-curve analysis was conducted to determine the area-under-the-curve of carotid plaque features in predicting recurrent events.
Results—Sixty-three patients (mean age: 66.5±10.0 years old; 54 males) were eligible for final statistics analysis. During a mean follow-up duration of 55.1±13.6 months, 14.3% of patients (n=9) experienced ipsilateral recurrent transient ischemic attack/stroke. The annual progression of carotid wall volume was significantly associated with recurrent events before (hazard ratio, 1.14 per 10 mm3; 95% confidence interval, 1.02–1.27; P=0.019) and after (hazard ratio, 1.19 per 10 mm3; 95% confidence interval, 1.03–1.37; P=0.022) adjusted for confounding factors. In discriminating the recurrence of transient ischemia attack/stroke, receiver–operator curve analysis indicated that combined with annual progression of wall volume, there was a significant incremental improvement in the area-under-the-curve of intraplaque hemorrhage (area-under-the-curve: 0.69–0.81) and fibrous cap rupture (area-under-the-curve: 0.73–0.84).
Conclusions—The annual progression of carotid wall volume is independently associated with recurrent ischemic cerebrovascular events, and this measurement has added value for intraplaque hemorrhage and fibrous cap rupture in predicting future events.
- Received September 17, 2017.
- Revision received November 18, 2017.
- Accepted December 15, 2017.
- © 2018 American Heart Association, Inc.