Carotid artery stenosis (CAS) due to the presence of atherosclerotic plaque (AP) is a frequent medical condition and a known risk factor for stroke, and it is also known from literature that several risk factors promote the AP development, in particular aging, smoke, male sex, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, smoke, diabetes type 1 and 2, and genetic factors. The study of carotid atherosclerosis is continuously evolving: even if the strategies of treatment still depends mainly on the degree of stenosis (DoS) determined by the plaque, in the last years the attention has moved to the study of the plaque components in order to identify the so called “vulnerable” plaque: features like the fibrous cap status and thickness, the volume of the lipid-rich necrotic core and the presence of intraplaque hemorrhage (IPH) are risk factors for plaque rupture, that can be studied with modern imaging techniques. The aim of this review is to give a general overview of the principle histological and imaging features of the subcomponent of carotid AP (CAP), focalizing in particular on the features of CAP of patients affected by hypertension and diabetes (in particular type 2 diabetes mellitus).
- Carotid artery plaque
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine