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Monday, 20 February 2012

Intima-Media thickness

An intima-media thickness of < 1 mm is normal.   

IMT predicts cardiovascular risk
Used by pharmaceutical research groups for evaluating the regression and/or progression of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
IMT is strogly associated to atherosclerosis.
It is worth noting that not all the processes of thickening of the intima-media are due to atherosclerosis. Intimal thickening is in fact a complex process, depending on a variety of factors, not necessarily related to atherosclerosis. Local hemodynamics plays an important role, higher blood pressure and changes in shear stress being potential causes of intimal thickening, even differences in cholesterol homeostasis.
Often, the measurement of the IMT is measured in three tracts: in the common carotid, at one or two cms from the flow divider, at the bifurcation and in the internal carotid artery.
IMT measurements of the deep wall, by ultrasound, are generally more reliable than measurements performed on the outer wall.