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Carotid intraplaque haemorrhage: pathogenesis, histological classification, imaging methods and clinical value

Abstract : Vulnerable carotid atherosclerotic plaques are characterised by several risk factors, such as inflammation, neovascularization and intraplaque haemorrhage (IPH). Vulnerable plaques can lead to ischemic events such as stroke. Many studies reported a relationship between IPH, plaque rupture, and ischemic stroke. Histology is the gold standard to evaluate IPH, but it required carotid endarterectomy (CEA) surgery to collect the tissue sample. In this context, several imaging methods can be used as a non-invasive way to evaluate plaque vulnerability and detect IPH. Most imaging studies showed that IPH is associated with plaque vulnerability and stroke, with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) being the most sensitive and specific to detect IPH as a predictor of ischemic events. These conclusions are however still debated because of the limited number of patients included in these studies; further studies are required to better assess risks associated with different IPH stages. Moreover, IPH is implicated in plaque vulnerability with other risk factors which need to be considered to predict ischemic risk. In addition, MRI sequences standardization is required to compare results from different studies and agree on biomarkers that need to be considered to predict plaque rupture. In these circumstances, IPH detection by MRI could be an efficient clinical method to predict stroke. The goal of this review article is to first describe the pathophysiological process responsible for IPH, its histological detection in carotid plaques and its correlation with plaque rupture. The second part will discuss the benefits and limitations of imaging the carotid plaque, and finally the clinical interest of imaging IPH to predict plaque rupture, focusing on MRI-IPH.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-03261174
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 15, 2021 - 2:57:08 PM
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M. Mura, N. Della Schiava, A. Long, E. N. Chirico, V. Pialoux, et al.. Carotid intraplaque haemorrhage: pathogenesis, histological classification, imaging methods and clinical value. Annals of translational medicine, AME Publishing Company, 2020, 8 (19), pp.1273. ⟨10.21037/atm-20-1974⟩. ⟨inserm-03261174⟩

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