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Jan Nilsson


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Treatment with betablockers is associated with higher grey-scale median in carotid plaques


  • Giuseppe Asciutto
  • Nuno Dias
  • Ana Persson
  • Jan Nilsson
  • Isabel Goncalves

Summary, in English

Background: The presence of echolucent carotid plaques as defined by low ultrasound grey-scale median (GSM) is associated with a higher risk of stroke and myocardial infarction. Betablockers have shown possible anti-atherosclerotic effects. The aim of the present study was to determine if there is an association between carotid plaque GSM and treatment with betablockers. Methods: The GSM of the carotid plaques of 350 patients who underwent carotid endarterectomy (CEA) for asymptomatic (n = 113) or symptomatic (n = 237) carotid disease was measured. Patients were divided in two groups based on the absence/presence of an on-going long-term (i.e. at least 6 months) oral treatment with betablockers at the time of CEA. Results: The prevalence and type of preoperative neurological symptoms were similar in the two groups. Patients with betablockers had more frequently arterial hypertension (P < .0001), diabetes (P = .035) and a higher BMI (P = .0004), while patients without betablockers were most frequently smokers (P = .017). Patients with betablockers revealed to have higher GSM (37.79 +/- 25 vs 32.61 +/- 23.50 P = .036). Echogenic plaques (i.e. with GSM > 30) showed to be more frequent in patients with betablockers also after correction for age, gender, the occurrence of preoperative symptoms, diabetes, hypertension, smoking and statins use (P = .024). Conclusions: These results suggest the use of standardized ultrasound techniques as an important tool in evaluating the effect of anti-atherosclerotic medications and underline the need of. further prospective randomized studies on larger patient cohorts in order to confirm these results.


  • EXODIAB: Excellence of Diabetes Research in Sweden
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health
  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis
  • Department of Clinical Sciences, Malmö
  • Cardiovascular Research - Translational Studies

Publishing year





BMC Cardiovascular Disorders



Document type

Journal article


BioMed Central (BMC)


  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


  • Betablockers
  • Grey-scale median
  • Carotid artery
  • Carotid plaque



Research group

  • Cardiovascular Research - Immunity and Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular Research - Translational Studies


  • ISSN: 1471-2261