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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 1998 October-December;157(5-6):149-52

Copyright © 1998 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Correlation between carotid Intima-Media thickness and intracranial internal carotid Doppler sonography

Corsi M.

Specialista in Chirurgia Vascolare


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Background and aims. Special attention has been focused in recent years on specific vascular districts in order to follow the evolution of early plaques in correlation with cardio- and cerebrovascular diseases. Special importance has been attributed to changes in the arterial wall in order to distinguish normal arteries from those with early lesions. The aim of this study was to describe a method used to correlate the thickness of the Intima-Media complex of the carotid bifurcation and flowmetry of the internal carotid artery in its terminal intracranial tract.
Methods. A total of 15 male subjects were examined in the study with no lesions protruding into the lumen, 20 mm before the carotid bifurcation, along the common carotid artery and 20 mm after the bifurcation, along the internal carotid artery. The Intima-Media complex was measured along the posterior wall of the common carotid artery, at a distance of approximately 15 mm from the bifurcation and the zone with the largest I-M value was taken into consideration. Flowmetry of the intracranial internal carotid artery was evaluated using a probe placed on the squama of the temporal bone, homolateral to the common carotid in question, at a depth of 60±10 mm.
Results. The patients studied were divided into two groups, A and B: A) Ten subjects, mean age 54±6 years, of whom five (A’) were suffering from arterial hypertension and the remaining 5 (A’’) presented non insulin-dependent diabetes. B) Five subjects not presenting arterial hypertension or diabetes, who complied with the criteria for inclusion: these subjects were used as a control group. The thickness of the Intima-Media complex in subjects in the subgroup A’ was 1.2±0.1 mm and systolic velocity of the intracranial internal carotid artery was 44±5 cm/sec, whereas in subgroup A’’ the Intima-Media complex measured 1.0±0.1 mm and systolic velocity of the intracranial internal carotid artery was 46±2 cm/sec. In Group B, the control group, the Intima-Media complex measured 0.65±0.1 mm and systolic velocity of the intracranial internal carotid artery was 57±4 cm/sec.
Conclusions. The measurement of the I-M complex enables an overall evaluation to be made of atherosclerotic disease and no vessel is more suitable for study than the carotid arteries, at a lower cost than for other tests. The comparison between the thickness of the I-M complex and flowmetry in the intracranial internal carotid in subjects who are completely asymptomatic for peripheral vasculopathy appears to highlight a correlation between the two findings.

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