Aims: Two-dimensional ultrasound (2D-US) is the mainstay imaging technique used to evaluate carotid atherosclerosis. An automated single sweep three-dimensional ultrasound (3D-US) technique became available. We evaluated the feasibility and accuracy of 3D-US in the assessment of carotid plaques compared to those of 2D-US. Carotid computed tomography angiography (CTA) was used as a reference. Methods and results: Among 126 stroke patients who underwent carotid 2D-US, 73 underwent 3D-US and carotid CTA. 3D-US was pursued when there were carotid plaques or when area stenosis was ≥ 20% by 2D-US. Both 2D- and 3D-US images of the carotid arteries were acquired using a dedicated ultrasound system that was equipped with the single sweep volumetric transducer. In total, 266 arteries from 73 patients were selected for comparison of the detection rate of carotid plaques between 2D- and 3D-US. Among the 73 patients, carotid CTA detected 139 plaques. 3D-US demonstrated a higher detection rate of carotid plaques than did 2D-US (108 plaques (77.9%) vs. 70 plaques (50.4%)) when using carotid CTA as a reference standard. Carotid plaque volume (PV) of 133 vessels from 73 patients were quantitatively evaluated using both 3D-US and carotid CTA. Plaque volume of carotid artery was comparable between 3D-US and CTA (148.5 ± 133.0 mm3 vs. 154.1 ± 134.6 mm3, P =.998, R: 0.9825, P-value for r <.001). Conclusion: 3D-US using a single sweep technique was a feasible and accurate method of detecting arterial plaques and assessing plaque volume.
- carotid artery
- plaque volume
- three-dimensional echocardiography