Korean J Med Phys.  2005 Dec;16(4):207-213.

Measurements of Carotid Intima, Media, and Intima-media Thickness and Their Clinical Importance

Affiliations
  • 1Human Life Measurement Group, Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science, Korea. wskim@kriss.re.kr
  • 2Division of Cardiology, Heart Center, College of Medicine, Konyang University, Korea.

Abstract

The severity of carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) is an independent predictor of atherosclerosis which causes transient cerebral ischemia, stroke, and coronary events such as myocardial infarction. The IMT consists of intima thickness (IT) and media thickness (MT). However, the Individual clinical significance of IT and MT has not been well studied. We devised a method of measuring IT, MT, and IMT using B-mode ultrasound image processing technique for the diagnosis of atherosclerosis. To inspect the clinical significance of IT, MT, and IMT, one hundred forty-four consecutive patients (mean age; 57 years old, 72 males) were underwent common carotid artery scanning using high-resolution ultrasound. Results showed that, the IT (p<0.05), MT (p<0.05) as well as IMT (p<0.01) of patients with atherosclerotic disease were significantly thicker than that of the patients without atherosclerotic disease. Patients with hypertension showed significantly thicker IT (p<0.01), MT (p<0.001), and IMT (p<0.001). However, only IT was thicker in patients with smoking (p<0.01). The IT (r=0.374, p=0.001), MT (r=0.433, p=0.000), and IMT (r=0.479, p=0.000) showed positive correlation with age. The coefficients of determination (r(2)) were estimated to be 92.4% for IMT and MT, 49.1% for IMT and IT, and 27.4% for IT and MT. This result suggests that the intima layer of the carotid artery has a different physiology with the media layer.

Keyword

Atherosclerosis; Carotid artery; Intima thickness (IT); Media thickness (MT); Intima-Media thickness (IMT)

MeSH Terms

Atherosclerosis
Carotid Arteries
Carotid Artery, Common
Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
Diagnosis
Humans
Hypertension
Ischemic Attack, Transient
Middle Aged
Myocardial Infarction
Physiology
Smoke
Smoking
Stroke
Ultrasonography
Smoke
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