Patients scheduled for carotid endarterectomy undergo preoperative imaging to assess
vulnerable plaque. The imaging modalities include (in various combinations at different study
sites) 3-dimensional ultrasound, PET/CT imaging with fluorodeoxyglucose, MRI (3T)with
gadolinium, and contrast ultrasound for assessment of neovascularity of plaques. At surgery
the carotid endarterectomy is carried out with en bloc removal of the specimen, which is
scanned and stained and assembled into 3D histology.