Association of neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio with plaque morphology in patients with asymptomatic intermediate carotid artery stenosis

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Yusel I. O., Kolu E., Arslan S., Cagirci G., Gosu E. O., Koc P., ...More

Korean Circulation Journal, vol.46, no.5, pp.699-705, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.4070/kcj.2016.46.5.699
  • Journal Name: Korean Circulation Journal
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.699-705
  • Keywords: Atherosclerosis, Carotid artery stenosis, Neutrophil, lymphocyte, ratio, Atherosclerotic plaque, Stroke
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


Background and Objectives: Non-calcified carotid plaques are more unstable than calcified plaques, and they are associated with a higher risk of rupture, thromboembolism, and consequently, stroke. The purpose of the present study is to compare calcified and non-calcified plaques that cause intermediate carotid artery stenosis with respect to neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (NLR). Subjects and Methods: A total number of 139 asymptomatic patients with 50-70% stenosis of the carotid artery were included in this study. Carotid Doppler ultrasound imaging and computed tomography angiography were performed to divide the carotid artery plaques into two groups as calcified and non-calcified. Patients included in the calcified (n=73) and non-calcified (n=66) plaque groups were compared with respect to total neutrophil count, lymphocyte count and NLR. Results: Total lymphocyte count was statistically significantly lower in the non-calcified plaque group compared to the calcified plaque group (total lymphocyte count in non-calcified/calcified plaque groups [103/mm3]: 2.1/2.3, respectively) (p=0.002). NLR was statistically significantly higher in the non-calcified plaque group compared to the calcified plaque group (NLR in non-calcified/calcified plaque groups: 2.6/2.1, respectively) (p<0.001). The cut-off value for NLR was found to be >2.54. Multivariate regression analysis showed that NLR was independently associated with non-calcified carotid artery plaques (odds ratio 5.686, 95% CI 2.498-12.944, p<0.001). Conclusions: NLR is increased in the presence of non-calcified carotid artery plaques that cause asymptomatic intermediate stenosis. Increased NLR can be used as a marker to assess the risk of rupture of non-calcified carotid artery plaques.