Abstract 12768: Ultrasonic Tissue Characterization of Carotid Artery Plaque using High-resolution Integrated Backscatter Imaging: Validation Study with Histological Correlation
Ultrasound imaging of the carotid artery plaques not only identifies its thickness but also provides information on its histological features such as lipid pools, fibrous lesions or calcified lesions, which reflect the risk of cardiovascular event. The lesion echogenicity has been semi-qualitatively classified in the clinical setting, however, quantitative assessment has not been established. We attempted to develop a novel system to visualize the ultrasound tissue characteristics of the carotid plaque with high resolution color-coded display based on its integrated backscatter. Transverse and longitudinal scans of carotid plaques were performed in 8 patients (70±6 years old) who underwent endarterectomy using an ultrasound imaging system (Logic 7, GE healthcare) with 10MHz linear-array transducer. Integrated ultrasonic backscatter was recorded during routine carotid artery ultrasound examination. All images were digitally stored with RAW data and were analyzed with newly developed software (iPlaque) which can color-code the plaque tissue according to its internal integrated backscatter. Lipid pool, fibrous tissue, dense fibrous tissue and calcified tissue were classified and displayed by different color-codes. Tissue samples of the carotid artery were fixed and stained with hematoxylin eosin and Massons trichrome. Ultrasonic characterization of plaques was well matched with histological samples (Figure 1, A:Integrated backscatter image, B: iPlaque analysis, C: histological section with hematoxylin eosin stein). Serial changes of the plaque contents can be clearly observed by our iPlaque imaging (Figure 2).Our iPlaque software can be used to characterize histological variations in the carotid plaque. Additional research will be required to determine if it can be utilized to identify a risk of cardiovascular event and improve the quality of clinical management in patients with atherosclerosis.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.