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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2012 Oct 23;60(17):1599-604. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2011.12.061. Epub 2012 Sep 19.

Lessons from the past and promises for the future for carotid intima-media thickness.

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  • 1Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.


Carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) measurements have been used in cardiovascular research for more than 2 decades. There is a wealth of evidence showing that CIMT can be assessed in a reproducible manner and that increased CIMT relates to unfavorable risk factor levels and atherosclerosis elsewhere in the arterial system and to the risk of vascular events. Change in CIMT over time can be readily assessed, and trials showed that the rate of change is modifiable by treatment. Several issues important for the cardiovascular research community and its application in clinical practice are still outstanding. Promising future areas for CIMT measurements are: 1) application in studies among children and adolescents; 2) use of CIMT trials positioned decisively before the start of a morbidity and mortality trial; and 3) the use of CIMT measurement in risk stratification in those with an intermediate 10-year risk estimate.

Copyright © 2012 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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