Early Detection of Vascular Dysfunction with Carotid Strain

The PI of this project is:

This project is funded by: NIH

The term of this project is: October 2021 to June 2024

The number of subjects scanned during this project is: 40

Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United
States. Strokes are often caused by fragments of plaque (cholesterol build-up on the inner
wall of a blood vessel) getting lodged in blood vessels and cutting off blood flow to the brain. Standard ultrasound techniques can show plaque and stiffening of blood vessels in the
neck. This study will investigate if using ultrasound “strain imaging” and
“scatterer size imaging” can help identify plaque that is more likely to cause stroke. The study team will test these ultrasound methods in people of different ages. Ultimately, the goal is to use this study to determine if doctors can use ultrasound as a way of measuring their patients’ risk of stroke.
In addition, ultrasound provides two-dimensional images with high resolution, while MRI imaging provides a three-dimensional picture of carotid artery, plaque and blood flow. MRI is also able to provide brain imaging which is not done with ultrasound. Repeated imaging
sessions are necessary to track any increase in plaque deposition over 4 years. The study team will use ultrasound every 2 years and a repeat MRI after 4 years. This will help the team understand the growth of plaque over 4 years and its severity over time.