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Carotid Intima Media Thickness and Its Utility as a Predictor of Cardiovascular Disease

A Review of Evidence

Carpenter, Mark MChem; Sinclair, Hannah BSc, MB ChB, MRCP; Kunadian, Vijay MBBS, MD, FRCP

doi: 10.1097/CRD.0000000000000077
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Cardiovascular (CV) disease is still the leading cause of death in the developed world, despite the considerable progress in CV medical and surgical therapeutics. Many risk factors are associated with the development of future adverse CV events, such as age, hypertension, body mass index, and other comorbidities. Carotid intima media thickness (CIMT) is one method of calculating plaque burden by assessing the level of arterial thickening present. CIMT can be used as a noninvasive marker of atherosclerotic disease with increasing CIMT linked to an increased risk of subsequent CV events. In this review, the association of CIMT with CV disease is explored. Current literature on the role of CIMT in predicting CV outcomes is reviewed to determine whether it is a predictor of CV events, both in the general population and in the high-risk groups, such as those with hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and chronic kidney disease.

From the *Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University Medical School, UK; Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; and Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Disclosure: The authors have no conflicts of interest to report.

This work was supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre based at Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust and Newcastle University. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

Correspondence: Vijay Kunadian, MBBS, MD, FRCP, FACC, FESC, Institute of Cellular Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University, 3rd Floor William Leech Building, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH UK. E-mail: vijay.kunadian@ncl.ac.uk.

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