Measurement of the ultrasonic intima-media complex thickness in normal subjects

Martin G. Veller, Charles M. Fisher, Andrew N. Nicolaides, Sophie Renton, George Geroulakos, Nicolas J. Stafford, Ajanta Sarker, Gabi Szendro, Gianni Belcaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

195 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: The evolution of atherosclerosis can be studied before development of symptomatic plaque by evaluating morphologic changes of the intima-media (I-M) complex, seen on high-resolution ultrasonography of the arterial wall. These qualitative changes require large alterations in vessel wall appearance to recognize progression of atherosclerosis. It has been suggested that measurement of the thickness of the I-M complex may be a quantitative and more sensitive method of assessing these early atherosclerotic changes. Methods: High-resolution ultrasonography has been used to measure the thickness of the I-M complex in 140 symptom-free subjects. Results: The mean thickness of the I-M complex of the common carotid arteries was linearly related to the age (r = 0.77; p < 0.001), pack-years of smoking (r = 0.39; p < 0.05), the systolic blood pressure (r = 0.51, p < 0.01), and to the arterial ultrasound score (r = 0.85). The arterial ultrasound score has previously been shown to correlate with the presence of asymptomatic myocardial ischemia and with the development of cardiovascular symptoms. The mean thickness of the I-M complex in subjects without plaque (in the common carotid or common femoral artery bifurcations) was significantly thinner than in subjects with plaque (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The thickness of the I-M complex of the common carotid arteries is a measure of the risk for the development of cardiovascular symptoms in symptom-free individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)719-725
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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