Vulnerable Atherosclerotic Plaque – Technical Brief from the AHRQ Effective Health Care Program – 16 August 2010

Posted on August 27, 2010. Filed under: Cardiol / Cardiothor Surg | Tags: |

Vulnerable Atherosclerotic Plaque – Technical Brief from the AHRQ Effective Health Care Program – 16 August 2010

AHRQ = Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
AHRQ Publication No. 10-EHC-062-EF 

Medical researchers seeking more precise ways to predict a patient’s susceptibility to heart attacks and strokes are not close to finding a clinically and biologically superior method of doing so, according to a new AHRQ-funded study.  The report examines scientific literature of vulnerable plaques, a concept that proposes that biologically unstable areas of arteries could rupture and form a local blood clot that blocks the flow of blood through the artery to the heart or brain, causing a heart attack or stroke.  However, the report’s authors found substantial challenges in identifying unique characteristics of vulnerable plaques that can reliably be used in clinical practice to identify patients who are at higher risk of developing a heart attack or stroke.  The report was produced by AHRQ’s Tufts Medical Center Evidence-based Practice Center and was published online in Annals of Internal Medicine.  Select to access the full report.

Alsheikh-Ali A, Kitsios GD, Balk E, Mahoney A, Lau J, Ip S. Vulnerable Atherosclerotic Plaque. Technical Brief No. 4 (Prepared by Tufts Evidence-based Practice Center under Contract No. HHSA-290-02-0022-EPC II.) AHRQ Publication No. 10-EHC062-EF. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. August 2010. Available at: www.effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/reports/final.cfm

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