• Interleukin-6 Predicts Carotid Plaque Severity, Vulnerability, and Progression.

      Kamtchum-Tatuene, Joseph; Saba, Luca; Heldner, Mirjam R; Poorthuis, Michiel H F; Borst, Gert J de; Rundek, Tatjana; Kakkos, Stavros K; Chaturvedi, Seemant; Topakian, Raffi; Polak, Joseph F; et al. (Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2022-06-17)
      Duplex carotid ultrasound was performed at baseline and 5 years. Baseline plaque severity was scored 0 to 5 based on North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial grade of stenosis. Plaque vulnerability at baseline was the presence of markedly irregular, ulcerated, or echolucent plaques. Plaque progression at 5 years was a ≥1 point increase in stenosis severity. The relationship of baseline plasma IL-6 levels with plaque characteristics was modeled using multivariable linear (severity) or logistic (vulnerability and progression) regression. Risk factors of atherosclerosis were included as independent variables. Stepwise backward elimination was used with P>0.05 for variable removal. To assess model stability, we computed the E-value or minimum strength of association (odds ratio scale) that unmeasured confounders must have with log IL-6 and the outcome to suppress the association. We performed internal validation with 100 bootstrap samples.