Published online Jun 28, 2015. doi: 10.4329/wjr.v7.i6.131
Peer-review started: January 19, 2015
First decision: February 7, 2015
Revised: March 10, 2015
Accepted: April 10, 2015
Article in press: April 14, 2015
Published online: June 28, 2015
The vasa vasorum of carotid artery plaque is a novel marker of accurately evaluating the vulnerability of carotid artery plaque, which was associated with symptomatic cerebrovascular and cardiovascular disease. The presence of ultrasound contrast agents in carotid artery plaque represents the presence of the vasa vasorum in carotid artery plaque because the ultrasound contrast agents are strict intravascular tracers. Therefore, contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) is a novel and safe imaging modality for evaluating the vasa vasorum in carotid artery plaque. However, there are some issues that needs to be assessed to embody fully the clinical utility of the vasa vasorum in carotid artery plaque with CEUS.
Core tip: Stroke is a major cause of morbidity and mortality all over the world. At-risk patients is so-called vulnerable patients because they posses a higher likelihood of developing symptomatic stroke compared with those low-risk patients. Vulnerable patients usually have carotid artery vulnerable plaques and vulnerable plaques posses a higher likelihood of rupture to lead to acute stroke. The vasa vasorum of carotid artery plaque has been confirmed as same as vulnerable plaques and contrast-enhanced ultrasonography could detect the vasa vasorum of carotid artery plaque.