Journal «Angiology and Vascular Surgery» • 

2013 • VOLUME 19 • №3

Possibilities of instrumental methods of diagnosis of unstable atherosclerotic plaques of carotid arteries

Toklueva L.R.1, Balakhonova T.V.1, Strazden E.Yu.1, Sharia M.A.2, Lukyanov M.M.1, Radyukhina N.V.1, Shishkina V.S.1, Tararak E.M.1, Boitsov S.A.2

1) Federal State Budgetary Facility "Russian Cardiological Scientific and Production Complex", under the RF Ministry of Public Health and Social Development, Moscow, Russia;
2) Federal State Budgetary Facility “State Scientific Research Centre for Preventive Medicine, under the RF Ministry of Public Health and Social Development Moscow, Russia

Today there exists a wide variety of laboratory and instrumental methods aimed at diagnosing an unstable carotid aortosclerotic plaque. Assessment of the laboratory indices is not sufficiently effective since it does not allow of revealing the fact of the formation of an unstable plague at early stages and to determine its localization. The instrumental methods employed (ultrasonographic study, magnetic resonance imaging, multiplanar computed tomography, positron emission tomography) were focussed on detecting pathomorphological markers of instability – thickness of the fibrous coating, structural plaques, the presence of erosions, ulcerations, haemorrhages, calcifications, lipid nucleus, activity of the cellular processes inside the plaque. The revealed signs promote early diagnosis of unstable atherosclerotic plaque with the determination of its localization. Nevertheless, they do not provide evidence about the danger of its rupture, whereas the overwhelming majority of acute vascular catastrophes including acute impairments of cerebral circulation is directly associated with arterial thrombosis resulting from rupture of the atherosclerotic plaque. Therefore, search for new methods aimed at prediction of complications of the atherosclerotic plaque which would be employed in routine clinical practice still remain urgently important today. The most promising is the study of the state of the atherosclerotic plaques of carotid arteries for prediction of acute impairment of cerebral circulation.

KEY WORDS: atherosclerosis, carotid arteries, unstable atherosclerotic plaque, instrumental methods of diagnosis.

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