Carotid Intima -Media Thickness (CIMT)

Carotid Artery Ultrasound and Carotid Intima-Media Thickness (CIMT)

Carotid ultrasound is a non-invasive investigation used to diagnose the presence and extent of build up of fatty deposits called atheromatous plaques in the walls or inside the lumen of carotid arteries. The carotid arteries are a pair of blood vessels located on each side of the neck that delivers oxygen-rich blood to the brain and head.

Carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) is a measure of the walls of the carotid arteries (see below)

CIMT measurement:

  1. Can predict further cardiac or cerebrovascular events
  2. Allows early detection and intervention
  3. Allows more accurate risk stratification in a asymptomatic patients than do traditional risk factors
  4. Can distinguish between different types of plaques providing further information about the stable (hard) and unstable (soft) plaques.

Contributing factors to increased carotid intima-media thickness:

  1. Age
  2. High choleterol
  3. High blood pressure
  4. Smoking
  5. Diabetes
  6. Obesity
  7. Sedentary lifestyle

CIMT can determine the “age” of the carotid arteries and allow the physician to develop aggressive medial approach to deal with the above conditions if the exist.