Determinants of plaque instability in atherosclerotic vascular disease.
ABSTRACT Despite numerous advances in the understanding of the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, the factors that determine atheromatous plaque instability remain unclear. The prediction of the vulnerability of a plaque to rupture and subsequent thrombosis would be useful in guiding development of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.
Aortas with areas of gross atherosclerosis were obtained from seven autopsy cases. These were then serially sectioned at 3-mm intervals, analyzed histologically, and scored as to plaque size, calcification, lipid content, intraplaque hemorrhage, inflammation, plaque disruption, and plaque thrombosis. Bivariate correlations and binary multivariate regression analyses were performed using SPSS software.
Plaque instability was highly correlated with intraplaque hemorrhage, lipid content, and plaque size. Weaker but statistically significant correlations were found with inflammation and calcification. However, in multivariate regression analyses, only plaque size, intraplaque hemorrhage, and lipid content, independent predictors of plaque instability, were significant.
Atheromatous plaques may be rendered unstable by increases in size, increased intra- and extracellular lipid accumulation, and intraplaque hemorrhage. Based on these results, diagnostic modalities that detect plaque size, plaque hemorrhage, and/or lipid content are most likely to be useful in predicting unstable plaques.
Article: Role of infrasound pressure waves in atherosclerotic plaque rupture: a theoretical approach.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: To investigate the role of infrasound aortic pressure waves (IPW) in atherosclerotic plaque rupture. Atherosclerotic plaques have been simulated partly, in two dimensions, as being short or long Conical Intersections (CIS), that is to say elliptic, parabolic or hyperbolic surfaces. Consequently, the course and reflection of the generated aortic pressure wave (infrasound domain-less than 20Hz) has been examined around the simulated plaques. The incidence of IPW on plaque surface results both in reflection and "refraction" of the wave. The IPW course within tissue, seems to be enhanced by high Cu-level presence at these areas according to recent evidence (US2003000388213). The "refracted", derived wave travels through plaque tissue and is eventually accumulated to the foci of the respective CIS-plaque geometry. The foci location within or underneath atheroma declares zones where infrasound energy is mostly absorbed. This process, among other mechanisms may contribute to plaque rupture through the development of local hemorrhage and inflammation in foci areas. In future, detection of foci areas and repair (i.e. via Laser Healing Microtechnique) may attenuate atherosclerotic plaque rupture behavior.Recent Patents on Cardiovascular Drug Discovery 02/2007; 2(1):69-72.
Article: Magnetic resonance imaging of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques: current imaging strategies and molecular imaging probes.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The vulnerability or destabilization of atherosclerotic plaques has been directly linked to plaque composition. Imaging modalities, such as magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, that allow for evaluation of plaque composition at a cellular and molecular level, could further improve the detection of vulnerable plaque and may allow for monitoring the efficacy of antiatherosclerotic therapies. In this review we focus on MR imaging strategies for the detection and evaluation of atherosclerotic plaques and their composition. We highlight recent advancements in the development of MR pulse sequences, computer image analysis, and the use of commercially available MR contrast agents, such as gadopentic acid (Gd-DTPA), for plaque characterization. We also discuss molecular imaging strategies that are currently being used to design specific imaging probes targeted to biochemical and cellular markers of atherosclerotic plaque vulnerability.Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 10/2007; 26(3):460-79. · 2.70 Impact Factor