Peacock Scholarship

Carotid Artery Plaque Analysis

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Stroke is the second leading cause of death throughout the world, and the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer. The incidence of stroke has been gradually increasing with the aging population, and the outcome is often detrimental. It has been shown that the greatest impact on this disease comes from early prevention and intervention. The purpose of this study was to establish an area in patients showing no symptoms with moderate carotid stenosis (50-79%) to help identify the individuals and risk factors that lead a patient to a higher risk for stroke. The severity of carotid artery stenosis and plaque composition determine the treatment options. The two imaging modalities utilized in assessing plaque intensity are the Ultrasound and Magnetic Resonance Angiogram (MRA). However, there remained an unknown correlation between components of plaque composition defined by ultrasound versus MRA. My objective was to find the correlation between the two components. With this objective, a hypothesis for the trial was formulated: Ultrasound is equally able to measure plaque volume and heterogeneity when compared with MRA. Twenty subjects who underwent a carotid artery ultrasound and were found to have moderate stenosis, were referred for carotid artery MRA. These imaging modalities assessed percent stenosis severity and plaque heterogeneity index. From the obtained data, the hypothesis was validated as there was no statistical significant difference between plaque volume and heterogeneity of the carotid plaque estimated by either Ultrasound or MRA.

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  • 10/14/2020
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