Carotid plaque imaging profiling in subjects with risk factors (diabetes and hypertension)

Michele Porcu, Lorenzo Mannelli, Marta Melis, Jasjit S. Suri, Clara Gerosa, Giulia Cerrone, Giovanni Defazio, Gavino Faa, Luca Saba

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


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).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1005-1018
Number of pages14
JournalCardiovascular Diagnosis and Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


  • Carotid artery plaque
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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