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Canadian Journal of Cardiology

DEVELOPMENT OF A VASCULARIZED CAROTID ARTERY PLAQUE PHANTOM FOR THE VALIDATION OF A NOVEL ULTRASOUND-BASED QUANTIFICATION TOOL

      As the global burden of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease continues to rise, there is an increased demand for improved imaging techniques for earlier detection and diagnosis of atherosclerotic plaques. Vulnerable plaque lesions are thought to be responsible for the majority of cardiovascular events, characterized by a large lipid core, a thin fibrous cap, and neovascularization; features that increase the risk of plaque rupture and thrombosis. Intraplaque neovascularization (IPN) in advanced lesions of the carotid artery can be visualized using contrast enhanced ultrasound. Plaques can be qualitatively scored by locating microbubble flow within the plaque (0, not visible; 1, peri-adventitial; and 2, within plaque core). IPN quantitative methods may provide a more powerful tool for the detection of vulnerable plaque. The purpose of this study was to develop a carotid phantom model containing neovascularized atherosclerotic plaque mimics, resembling human plaques, to assess IPN quantitative methods.
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