Vulnerable carotid atherosclerotic plaques are related to an increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia in advanced age. In this study, we investigated the relationship between the echogenicity of carotid plaques and cognitive performance in patients with asymptomatic carotid atherosclerotic plaques. We enrolled 113 patients aged 65 years or more (72.4 +/- 5.9 years) who underwent carotid duplex ultrasound to evaluate plaque echogenicity by grey-scale median (GSM) and neuropsychological tests to assess cognitive function. The GSM values at baseline were inversely correlated with the number of seconds required to complete Trail Makin Test (TMT) A (rho: -0.442; p < 0.0001), TMT B (rho: -0.460; p < 0.0001) and TMT B-A (rho: -0.333; p < 0.0001) and directly correlated with Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Verbal Fluency Test (VFT) score (rho: 0.217; p = 0.021 and rho: 0.375; p < 0.0001, respectively) and the composite cognitive z-score (rho: 0.464; p < 0.0001). After a mean period of 3.5 +/- 0.5 years, 55 patients were reevaluated according to the same baseline study protocol. Patients with baseline GSM value higher than the median value of 29 did not show any significant variation in the z-score. Instead, those with GSM <= 29 showed a significant worsening of z-score (-1.2; p = 0.0258). In conclusion, this study demonstrates the existence of an inverse relationship between the echolucency of carotid plaques and cognitive function in elderly patients with atherosclerotic carotid disease. These data suggest that the assessment of plaque echogenicity if used appropriately, might aid in identifying subjects at increased risk for cognitive dysfunction.

Enhanced Carotid Plaque Echolucency Is Associated with Reduced Cognitive Performance in Elderly Patients with Atherosclerotic Disease Independently on Metabolic Profile

Mastroiacovo, Daniela;Dentali, Francesco;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Vulnerable carotid atherosclerotic plaques are related to an increased risk of cognitive impairment and dementia in advanced age. In this study, we investigated the relationship between the echogenicity of carotid plaques and cognitive performance in patients with asymptomatic carotid atherosclerotic plaques. We enrolled 113 patients aged 65 years or more (72.4 +/- 5.9 years) who underwent carotid duplex ultrasound to evaluate plaque echogenicity by grey-scale median (GSM) and neuropsychological tests to assess cognitive function. The GSM values at baseline were inversely correlated with the number of seconds required to complete Trail Makin Test (TMT) A (rho: -0.442; p < 0.0001), TMT B (rho: -0.460; p < 0.0001) and TMT B-A (rho: -0.333; p < 0.0001) and directly correlated with Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Verbal Fluency Test (VFT) score (rho: 0.217; p = 0.021 and rho: 0.375; p < 0.0001, respectively) and the composite cognitive z-score (rho: 0.464; p < 0.0001). After a mean period of 3.5 +/- 0.5 years, 55 patients were reevaluated according to the same baseline study protocol. Patients with baseline GSM value higher than the median value of 29 did not show any significant variation in the z-score. Instead, those with GSM <= 29 showed a significant worsening of z-score (-1.2; p = 0.0258). In conclusion, this study demonstrates the existence of an inverse relationship between the echolucency of carotid plaques and cognitive function in elderly patients with atherosclerotic carotid disease. These data suggest that the assessment of plaque echogenicity if used appropriately, might aid in identifying subjects at increased risk for cognitive dysfunction.
2023
carotid atherosclerotic plaque; cognitive functions; grayscale median
Mastroiacovo, Daniela; Mengozzi, Alessandro; Dentali, Francesco; Pomero, Fulvio; Virdis, Agostino; Camerota, Antonio; Muselli, Mario; Necozione, Stefano; Bocale, Raffaella; Ferri, Claudio; Desideri, Giovambattista
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11383/2167933
 Attenzione

L'Ateneo sottopone a validazione solo i file PDF allegati

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 2
  • Scopus 3
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 3
social impact