Assessment of subclinical atherosclerosis and intraplaque neovascularization using quantitative contrast-enhanced ultrasound in patients with familial hypercholesterolemia

  • Van Den Oord S
  • Akkus Z
  • Roeters van Lennep J
 et al. 
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Abstract

Objective: Patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) are at severely increased risk of developing atherosclerosis at relatively young age. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of subclinical atherosclerosis and intraplaque neovascularization (IPN) in patients with FH, using contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) of the carotid arteries. Methods: The study population consisted of 69 consecutive asymptomatic patients with FH (48% women, mean age 55(plus or minus)8 years). All patients underwent carotid ultrasound to evaluate the presence and severity of carotid atherosclerosis, and CEUS to assess IPN. IPN was assessed in near wall plaques using a semi-quantitative grading scale and semi-automated quantification software. Results: Carotid plaque was present in 62 patients (90%). A total of 49 patients had plaques that were eligible for the assessment of IPN: 7 patients (14%) had no IPN, 39 (80%) had mild to moderate IPN and 3 (6%) had severe IPN. Semi-automated quantification software showed no statistical significant difference in the amount of IPN between patients>50 years and patients(less-than or equal to)50 years and between patients with a defective low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) mutation and patients with a negative LDLR mutation. Plaques with irregular or ulcerated surface had significantly more IPN than plaques with a smooth surface ( p

Author-supplied keywords

  • Netherlands
  • adult
  • age
  • artery
  • article
  • atherosclerosis
  • atherosclerotic plaque
  • cardiology
  • carotid artery
  • carotid atherosclerosis
  • echography
  • familial hypercholesterolemia
  • female
  • gene mutation
  • human
  • hypercholesterolemia
  • lipoprotein
  • low density lipoprotein
  • low density lipoprotein receptor
  • major clinical study
  • male
  • mutation
  • neovascularization (pathology)
  • patient
  • population
  • prevalence
  • priority journal
  • quantitative study
  • receptor
  • risk
  • subclinical atherosclerosis
  • ultrasound

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Authors

  • S C H Van Den Oord

  • Z Akkus

  • J E Roeters van Lennep

  • J G Bosch

  • A F W Van Der Steen

  • E J G Sijbrands

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