Several studies have shown a linkage between intraplaque neovascularization (IPN) and plaque instability. Although contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) may help visualize IPN in the carotid artery, its benefits are limited in Japan, where there is no health insurance coverage for contrast agents in medical imaging. Superb microvascular imaging (SMI), however, enables the depiction of low-velocity blood flow. The current study compares the diagnostic accuracy of SMI and CEUS in the evaluation of IPN.

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