The study aimed to compare the characteristics of red and white thrombi in patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy.
The study was conducted in 81 patients with ischemic stroke who underwent carotid endarterectomy for carotid artery stenosis. Carotid plaques were graded by two pathologists. Thrombus materials were divided into two groups: white and red. The parameters of assessment were plaque rupture, lipid core, fibrous cap thickness, inflammation, intraplaque hemorrhage, calcification, necrotic core, and neovascularization. Normally distributed data were evaluated using Mann-Whitney U and Chi-squared tests.
The ratio of white and red thrombus was 19.8% and 80.2%, respectively. Lipid core, plaque rupture, necrotic core, neovascularization, intraplaque hemorrhage, obstruction, and inflammation were observed more in red thrombus, which were statistically significant. Calcification and fibrous cap thickness were not statistically significant in the two groups. Moreover, intimal smooth muscle cells were present in all thrombus types.
In our study, we found that red thrombi had more unstable characteristics than white thrombi. Thus, the risk for ischemic cerebrovascular events is more in red thrombi. However, this finding cannot be generalized due to the small number of patients in this study. Therefore, studies involving more patients are needed.

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