Utility of contrast-enhanced ultrasound for the assessment of the carotid artery wall in patients with Takayasu or giant cell arteritis

Arend F L Schinkel, Stijn C H van den Oord, Antonius F W van der Steen, Jan A M van Laar, Eric J G Sijbrands
European Heart Journal Cardiovascular Imaging 2014, 15 (5): 541-6

AIMS: Carotid contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) was recently proposed for the evaluation of large-vessel vasculitides (LVV), particularly to assess vascularization within the vessel wall. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate the potential of carotid colour Doppler ultrasound (CDUS) and CEUS in patients with LVV.

METHODS AND RESULTS: This prospective study included seven patients (mean age 48 ± 14 years, all females) with established LVV (Takayasu arteritis or giant cell arteritis). All patients underwent CDUS and CEUS (14 carotid arteries). Intima-media thickness, lumen diameter, Doppler velocities, vessel wall thickening, and lesion thickness were assessed. CEUS was used to improve visualization of the lumen-to-vessel wall border, and to visualize carotid wall vascularization. Four (57%) patients [7 (50%) carotid arteries] exhibited lesions, and the average lesion thickness was 2.0 ± 0.5 mm. According to the Doppler peak systolic velocity, 5 (35%) carotid arteries had a <50% stenosis, 1 (7%) had a 50-70% stenosis, and 1 (7%) had a ≥70% stenosis. The contrast agent improved the image quality and the definition of the lumen-to-vascular wall border. Carotid wall vascularization was observed in 5 (71%) patients [9 (64%) carotid arteries]. Five (36%) carotid arteries had mild-to-moderate vascularization, and 4 (29%) had severe wall vascularization.

CONCLUSION: Carotid CDUS allows the assessment of anatomical features of LVV, including vessel wall thickening and degree of stenosis. Carotid CEUS improves the visualization of the lumen border, and allows dynamic assessment of carotid wall vascularization, which is a potential marker of disease activity in patients with LVV.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.