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Am Heart J. 2002 Nov;144(5):753-9.

Carotid artery intimal-medial thickness: indicator of atherosclerotic burden and response to risk factor modification.

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Division of Cardiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich, USA.



A number of studies have used B-mode ultrasound to measure carotid intimal-medial thickness as an indicator of the severity of carotid atherosclerosis.


We reviewed the available data on carotid intimal-medial thickness in defining severity of atherosclerosis, with the use of high-quality studies that addressed clinical end points.


Data from multiple studies demonstrate a high degree of reproducibility in measurements of intimal-medial thickness. A number of agents that include 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and insulin sensitizers reduce carotid intimal-medial thickness and cardiovascular events, such as myocardial infarction and stroke.


In this review article, various methods of measuring carotid intimal-medial thickness are examined and critiqued. In addition, the effects of various lifestyle modifications and therapeutic agents on intimal-medial thickness and cardiovascular end points are evaluated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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