Article Text

FRI0362 Contrast-enhanced ultrasound of the sovraortic arteries: the potential role in monitoring disease activity and response to treatment in large vessel vasculitis.
  1. G. Germanò1,
  2. P. Macchioni1,
  3. N. Possemato1,
  4. O. Addimanda1,
  5. C. Salvarani1


Background Promising data has been recently published about the role of contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEU) in the diagnosis and follow up of Takayasu arteritis (TA) -1,2-

Objectives To assess the role of CEU examination of the carotid artery in patients with large vessel vasculitis (LVV) compared to Positron Emission Tomography (PET).

Methods 10 patients (8 TA,2 LVV, mean age 46±19y, mean disease duration 3.9±3.1y ) were contemporary evaluated with total body PET and carotid arteries US gray scale and CEU (Esaote MyLab70, 13-5MH linear probe, contrast agent Sonovue). All the patients underwent complete clinical examination and laboratory determination of acute phase reactants. Imaging results were reported using a semiquantitave score ranging from 0 (no activity) to 3 (high activity). Comparison between the two tests were made using Cohen K test.

Results At US gray scale examination 8/10 patients have high intima/media thickness (mean 1,5 mm ±0.46). In patients with positive contrast enhanced ultrasound themean carotid intima-media thickness was 2,1mm ±0.48, while patients withnegative contrast enhanced ultrasound presented a mean wall thickness of 0,9mm ±0.47 (P = 0.009). There was no significant differences in clinical, demographic and laboratory data between patients with active and inactive disease. All the 4 patients with high/medium carotid activity at PET examination presented positive (activity score >1) CEU. Five of the 6 patients with low/absent PET signal have negative (activity score <2) CEU (K test = 0.800, good concordance).

Conclusions CEU have a good concordance with PET. These results outline the potential role of CEU to be used in monitoring disease activity and response to treatment in LVV.


  1. Magnoni M. et al.; Assessment of Takayasu arteritis activity by carotid contrast-enhanced ultrasound. Circ Cardiovasc Imaging. 2011 Mar;4(2):e1-2.

  2. Giordana P et al.; Contrast-enhanced ultrasound of carotid artery wall in Takayasu disease: first evidence of application in diagnosis and monitoring of response to treatment. Circulation. 2011;124:245-7.

Disclosure of Interest: None Declared

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