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Carotid artery intima-media thickness is a marker for coronary artery disease

S. A. Abdushi, F. U. Kryeziu, F. D. Mazreku

Abstract


Although cardiac mortality has declined over the past four decades, coronary artery disease (CAD) remains the leading cause of mortality worldwide.  Considering the importance of CAD and effectiveness of primary prevention interventions (as are statins), is present an increasing interest in how to identify individuals with increased risk of cardiovascular incidents before they occur. Ultrasonography in B-mod of carotid arteries nowadays increasingly is using as a noninvasive and sophisticated method for evaluating  the atherosclerotic load in various clinical situations. The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between intima-media thickness of the carotid artery with the presence and extent of coronary disease. 50 patients with positive stress echocardiography are referred for coronary angiography for coronary atherosclerosis assessment. All these patients, and to 50 healthy volunteers are evaluated by B-mode ultrasound of common carotid arteries for carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) assessment.  It was shown that patients with CAD have higher values of CIMT than healthy volunteers (0.96 mm ± 0.16 mm versus 0.64 mm ± 0.0.89 mm; T-test=16.053, p<0.0001). Values of CIMT were in direct correlation with severity and extent of coronary artery disease. Values of CIMT were greater in the subgroup with three vessel disease and in the subgroup of left main coronary artery disease than they were in the subgroup with single vessel coronary artery disease and in subgroup with two vessel coronary artery disease (1.08 mm ± 0.23 mm and 1.05 mm ± 0.16 mm versus 0.87 mm ± 0.125 mm and 0.93 mm ± 0.06 mm; coefficient of correlation was r=0. 473 and this was statistically significant p<0.01). In conclusion, CIMT can be used to predict the presence and extent of coronary atherosclerosis.

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