Objective: Although the association between vulnerable lesions and cardiovascular events is well established, little is known about their relationship to postsurgery restenosis. To address this issue, we initiated a prospective, nonrandomized study to examine the femoral plaques on both sides in patients who were undergoing eversion carotid endarterectomy (CEA) and were longitudinally followed-up for early restenosis development. Methods: The final analysis enrolled 321 patients (189 women) with a median age of 67.0 years (interquartile range, 59.0-73.0 years), who underwent eversion CEA (2005 to 2007). Using duplex ultrasound scanning, we evaluated 321 common femoral atherosclerotic lesions on the day before CEA. A quantitative scale was used to grade the size of plaques as grade 1, one or more small plaques (<20 mm2); grade 2, moderate to large plaques; and grade 3, plaques giving flow disturbances. The plaque morphology in terms of echogenicity was graded as echolucent, 1; predominantly echolucent, 2; predominantly echogenic, 3; echogenic 4; or calcified, 5. The plaque surface was categorized as smooth, irregular, or ulcerated. The patients underwent carotid duplex ultrasound imaging at 6 weeks and at 6, 12, and 24 months after CEA. Mann-Whitney U test, χ2 test, and multivariate logistic regression were used for statistical evaluation. Results: Internal carotid artery restenosis of ≥50% was detected in 33 patients (10.28%) in the operated region. Neither the size (grade 1, P = .793; grade 2, P = .540; grade 3, P = .395) nor the surface characteristics of the femoral plaques (smooth, P = .278; irregular, P = .281; ulcerated, P = .934) were significantly different between the patients with and without carotid restenosis. Echolucent-predominantly echolucent femoral lesions were an independent predictor of recurrent carotid stenosis (adjusted odds ratio, 5.63; 95% confidence interval, 2.14-10.89; P < .001). Conclusion: Ultrasound evaluation of femoral plaque morphology before CEA can be useful for identifying patients at higher risk for carotid restenosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine