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Factors predicting compensatory vascular remodelling of the carotid artery affected by atherosclerosis


Objective: To investigate factors predicting the development of outward remodelling of the carotid artery in patients with atherosclerosis.

Design: 130 patients with carotid artery stenosis (15–85% of the vessel diameter) were divided into two groups, based on the presence or absence of outward remodelling of the sclerotic carotid segment on high resolution ultrasonography. Logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the contribution of haemodynamic, laboratory, and clinical measurements on the development of remodelling, including age, sex, type of stenosis, extent of plaque, per cent diameter stenosis, underlying disease, selected drug treatment, and plasma concentrations of total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglyceride, and uric acid.

Results: 64 patients (49%) had outward remodelling. Multivariate regression analysis showed that hypertension, the type of plaque, the thickness of the plaque, and the extent of stenosis were independent factors predicting remodelling. The odds ratios of hypertension, unstable shape of plaque, thickness of plaque, and the extent of the stenosis were 6.70, 3.02, 2.04, and 1.05, respectively. Other measurements did not contribute significantly to the estimation of remodelling.

Conclusions: Compensatory enlargement of the vessel occurs in about 50% of carotid artery segments with a diameter stenosis of 15–85%. Hypertension and the shape of the plaque are major determinants of the development of outward remodelling.

  • outward remodelling
  • carotid artery
  • atherosclerosis
  • hypertension
  • ACE, angiotensin converting enzyme
  • HDL, high density lipoprotein
  • HMG-CoA, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A

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