Symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid artery plaque

Majid M. Mughal, Mohsin K. Khan, J. Kevin Demarco, Arshad Majid, Fadi Shamoun, George S. Abela

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Carotid atherosclerotic plaques represent both stable and unstable atheromatous lesions. Atherosclerotic plaques that are prone to rupture owing to their intrinsic composition such as a large lipid core, thin fibrous cap and intraplaque hemorrhage are associated with subsequent thromboembolic ischemic events. At least 15-20% of all ischemic strokes are attributable to carotid artery atherosclerosis. Characterization of plaques may enhance the understanding of natural history and ultimately the treatment of atherosclerotic disease. MRI of carotid plaque and embolic signals during transcranial Doppler have identified features beyond luminal stenosis that are predictive of future transient ischemic attacks and stroke. The value of specific therapies to prevent stroke in symptomatic and asymptomatic patients with severe carotid artery stenosis are the subject of current research and analysis of recently published clinical trials that are discussed in this article.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1315-1330
Number of pages16
JournalExpert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Carotid atherosclerosis
  • Carotid endarterectomy
  • Diagnostic studies
  • Medical therapy
  • Stenting
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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