Mount Sinai Researchers Find The Significance of Plaque Burden Using 3D Vascular Ultrasound in Estimating Cardiovascular Risk
Inexpensive and Radiation-Free Technology Has Potential to Become a Key Screening tool for Identifying at Risk Individuals
In a large population study that was the first of its kind, researchers found that an experimental technique known as three-dimensional vascular ultrasound (3DVUS) estimated the quantification of plaque burden (in cubic millimeters) as an important addition to conventional risk factor profile in addressing patient risk stratification.
At an average age of 45 years, they found that the plaque burden in subjects was more than twice as high in men as in women (63.4 cubic millimeters vs. 25.7), and higher in the femoral arteries, and with increasing age.
The study will be published online July 10, 2017, in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Researchers explored the bilateral carotid and femoral arteries of 3,860 middle aged participants without prior cardiovascular disease who were employees of the Banco de Santander in Madrid, Spain. This is an ongoing observational prospective cohort study where participants are being followed up for 10 years. The 3DVUS examinations were performed using a new Phillips iU22 ultrasound system equipped with a VL13-5 3D volume–linear array transducer. This equipment will be available in the near future for routine patient care.
The clinical application of 3DVUS techniques is still at the research and development stage, but there are now a number of clinically promising areas including the measurement of plaque. Direct quantification of atherosclerotic plaque volume by 3DVUS is more reproducible than two-dimensional techniques.
“3DVUS is a feasible, reproducible, and novel imaging technique for quantifying early carotid and femoral atherosclerotic burden in large populations,” said the study’s lead author, Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, Director of Mount Sinai Heart and Physician-in-Chief of The Mount Sinai Hospital. “This novel method is valid for imaging superficial peripheral atherosclerosis burden from early to advanced stages of disease and can be applied to identification of individuals at risk, targeting or monitoring treatment. Further studies are needed, however, to assess the cost utility of this method compared with others when used in large-scale practice settings and population-based epidemiological studies.”
The study is part of an international initiative that is being conducted through partnerships with the National Center for Cardiovascular Research in Spain, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and the Framingham Heart Study.
About the Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care.
The System includes approximately 7,100 primary and specialty care physicians; 12 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per investigator. The Mount Sinai Hospital is in the "Honor Roll" of best hospitals in America, ranked No. 15 nationally in the 2016-2017 "Best Hospitals" issue of U.S. News & World Report. The Mount Sinai Hospital is also ranked as one of the nation's top 20 hospitals in Geriatrics, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Nephrology, Neurology/Neurosurgery, and Ear, Nose & Throat, and is in the top 50 in four other specialties. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 10 nationally for Ophthalmology, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Mount Sinai St. Luke's, and Mount Sinai West are ranked regionally. Mount Sinai's Kravis Children's Hospital is ranked in seven out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report in "Best Children's Hospitals."