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  • Author or Editor: Hatsue Ishibashi-Ueda x
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Tomohito Hishikawa, Koji Iihara, Naoaki Yamada, Hatsue Ishibashi-Ueda and Susumu Miyamoto

Object

The aim of this study was to assess the histopathological differences between advanced atherosclerotic carotid artery (CA) plaques with signal hyperintensity on T1-weighted MR images and those without, focusing on necrotic core size and intraplaque hemorrhage (IPH).

Methods

Thirty-five patients scheduled for carotid endarterectomy underwent preoperative CA MR imaging using 3D inversion-recovery-based T1-weighted imaging (magnetization-prepared rapid acquisition gradient-echo [MPRAGE]). The signal intensity of the CA plaque on MPRAGE sequences was classified as “high” when the intensity was more than 200% that of adjacent muscle. A total of 96 axial MR images obtained in 35 patients were compared with corresponding histological sections from 36 excised specimens. The area of the necrotic core in histological sections was compared between specimens with and without high signal intensity on MPRAGE sequences. The IPH was histopathologically graded according to the size of the area positive for glycophorin A as revealed by immunohistochemical staining. The difference between plaques with and without high signal intensity was investigated with respect to the degree of IPH. The relationship of the severity of IPH to size of the necrotic core was also evaluated.

Results

The area of the necrotic core in plaques with high signal intensity on MPRAGE sequences was significantly larger than that in plaques without high signal intensity (median 51.2% [interquartile range 43.3–66.8%] vs 49.0% [33.2–57.6%], p = 0.029). Carotid artery plaques with high signal intensity had significantly more severe IPH than plaques with lower signal intensity (p < 0.0001). The severity of IPH was significantly associated with the size of the necrotic core (p < 0.0001).

Conclusions

Atherosclerotic CA plaques with high signal intensity on MPRAGE sequences had large necrotic cores with IPH in patients with high-grade stenosis; MPRAGE is useful for the evaluation of CA plaque progression.

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Hiroyuki Hao, Koji Iihara, Hatsue Ishibashi-Ueda, Fumio Saito and Seiichi Hirota

Object

Preoperative clinical risk classification of carotid artery (CA) stenosis anticipates the outcome of CA intervention. A higher incidence of neurological morbidity was noted after CA stenting (CAS) in patients with medical risks than in those without risks. However, little is known about the correlation between clinical risks and plaque composition. The purpose of this study was to characterize the CA plaque histology in 3 groups of patients who were classified based on clinical risks for carotid endarterectomy (CEA). Furthermore, the authors examined whether the plaque with high embolic potential after CA intervention, particularly CAS, could be predicted based on clinical risks for CEA.

Methods

Patients were divided into 4 groups, according to the CEA risk classification system, and 3 groups with more than 10 cases were enrolled in this study as follows: absence of all angiographic, medical, and neurological risks (Grade I, 27 cases); presence of medical risk, but no neurological risk (Grade III, 31 cases); and presence of neurological risk (Grade IV, 17 cases). Histopathological characteristics of CA plaques, including fibrous cap thickness, plaque disruption, thrombus formation, intraplaque hemorrhage (IPH), and adipophilin expression were examined without information regarding clinical status.

Results

Plaques in patients in Grades III and IV demonstrated a thin fibrous cap and enhanced IPH, compared with those in Grade I. Plaques in patients in Grade IV showed more adipophilin-expressing macrophages in the fibrous cap than in those of the other groups.

Conclusions

Plaques in Grades III and IV patients were characterized by thin fibrous cap atheroma with IPH. Adipophilin-positive macrophage infiltration in the fibrous cap might be correlated with instability in neurological status. The plaque morphology in patients with medical and neurological risks needs to be examined carefully with the aid of imaging modalities. In plaques demonstrating a thin fibrous cap and IPH, the CAS procedure should be avoided and CEA should be performed instead.

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Koji Iihara, Kenichi Murao, Nobuyuki Sakai, Akio Soeda, Hatsue Ishibashi-Ueda, Chikao Yutani, Naoaki Yamada and Izumi Nagata

✓ A 58-year-old woman harboring a partially thrombosed giant aneurysm of the vertebral artery (VA) presented with lower cranial nerve palsies and cerebellar ataxia. The authors initially attempted to reduce the mass effect by obliterating the lumen of the aneurysm as well as by trapping of the parent artery with coils. Although there was no angiographically demonstrated evidence of filling, the aneurysm continued to enlarge. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a marked enhancement around the packed coils close to the neck of the aneurysm. Aneurysmectomy and removal of the coils were performed and resulted in an almost complete cure of the patient's symptoms. Interestingly, at the time of resection, a marked development of vasa vasorum on the occluded VA and the neck of the aneurysm was noted. When the occluded VA was cut, there was blood oozing through the coils packed within its lumen on the side where the aneurysm lay. Histological examination showed the presence of inflammatory cells and neovascularization of a partially organized thrombus around the packed coils in both the aneurysm and occluded VA. The proliferation of vasa vasorum was also recognized histologically. This unique case provides insight into the growth mechanisms of a partially thrombosed giant aneurysm after an apparently complete occlusion by endovascular treatment, especially the role of vaso vasorum on the occluded parent artery in the dynamic process of neovascularization in the incomplete organization of thrombus around the packed coils.