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Postgrad Med. 1991 Sep 1;90(3):175-9.

Carotid and coronary atherosclerosis. What are the connections?

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Bowman Gray School of Medicine of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


In recent years research has revealed an association between carotid atherosclerosis and coronary atherosclerosis that parallels the long-recognized association between clinically manifest cerebrovascular disease and clinically manifest coronary artery disease (CAD). Validation of B-mode ultrasonography as a method for quantitative imaging of the extracranial carotid arteries has made it possible to identify risk factors for extracranial carotid atherosclerosis and its progression and to test pharmacologic agents for their ability to retard that progression. Extent of atherosclerosis in the extracranial carotid arteries has been shown to be a risk factor or "marker" for symptomatic CAD. In addition, CAD has been identified as an important predictor of progression of extracranial carotid atherosclerosis.

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